by Stephen Garner
Keanan Duffty
Keanan Duffty / Photo by Lina Bertucci

The New School’s Parsons School of Design has announced the fall 2019 launch of a new Master’s of Professional Studies in Fashion Management, a state-of-the-art program that will prepare students to advance and transform their careers and teach them how to create innovative ideas for fashion businesses, start-ups, and other fashion-related services. Award-winning fashion designer, musician, and author Keanan Duffty has been named Program Director.

“Parsons is proud to expand our educational offerings by launching an MPS in Fashion Management,” says Dean of Fashion Burak Cakmak. “Under the guidance of Keanan Duffty, who brings an unparalleled level of experience in fashion, branding, and education to Parsons, the new program will train the future leaders of the fashion industry.”

The MPS in Fashion Management is a year-long, immersive program that explores the fashion industry from a range of perspectives, including entrepreneurship, consumer psychology, technology, and new business models, among others. Students engage in conversations around the balance of creativity and commerce, how businesses and start-ups can reinvent existing systems, solutions for social media and e-commerce, and the crucial need for sustainability and social responsibility at all levels of the industry.

The program’s curriculum will give students the opportunity to gain real-world experience at New York City fashion companies and ateliers through case studies, internships, and site visits, enabling them to graduate with a diverse portfolio of experiences that can be immediately applied to the fashion industry.

As part of the School of Fashion at Parsons School of Design, students will benefit from the academic leadership, resources, and industry networks that have placed Parsons at the forefront of fashion education. In his role as Program Director, Keanan Duffty, a Central Saint Martins-educated fashion designer, brings more than 25 years of knowledge, experience and creative insights to the MPS in Fashion Management.

“I am delighted to be joining Parsons School of Fashion, one of the world’s most respected and innovative educational institutions,” says Duffty. “The fashion system as we know it has lost its panache and relevance; and Parsons is in a unique position to build a new ecosystem at the intersection of design, technology, and sustainability. Through the MPS Fashion Management, we have the opportunity to reinvent entrepreneurialism for the current generation of curious-minded and socially conscious students.”

An acclaimed designer, Duffty’s namesake label was sold at more than 150 retailers around the world, including Lane Crawford, Bergdorf Goodman, and Barneys, and he has collaborated with David Bowie for his Target collection, Gwen Stefani’s LAMB, Ben Sherman, Aveda, Reebok. He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA), and serves as part of the CFDA Education Committee and the CFDA Elaine Gold Launch Pad, a unique creative entrepreneurship program which provides focused design and business mentorship with milestone-based micro-awards encouraging participants to embed sustainability, technology, and innovation within their ethos and to explore new business models.

Duffty’s extensive interdisciplinary expertise aligns with Parsons’ commitment to providing an innovative educational experience for students eager to challenge the status quo. Within the program, they will learn to combine creativity and commerce in order to develop insights and strategies that influence consumers’ perceptions, shopping habits, and interactions with brands and designers. Students will also work with industry professionals to identify business opportunities, new ways to streamline processes for profitability and efficiency, and methods for rapid innovation that unlock emerging opportunities in retail.