MCM, Parsons on Wearable Technology Competition

New York—“Innovation distinguishes between a leader and a follower,” said Steve Jobs, Apple’s founder and chairman. And this spring, MCM, a luxury accessories brand, and Parsons The New School for Design will be looking for future leaders who can combine technology with luxurygoods.

It’s all part of a partnership between MCM and Parsons aimed at creating prototype design products that integrate technology and luxury.

High Tech Meets Luxurygoods

“Accessories have an enormous potential for the integration of technology that enhances the consumer experience,” said Sung-Joo Kim, chairperson and ceo of the Sungjoo Group, which owns MCM. “We believe that MCM’s product line can be extended with the creative exploration of ‘smart’ accessories that are luxurious through added technologies. We look forward to seeing the creativity of the students in this regard.”

Kicking off their challenge this spring is a competition bringing together students of fashion design, product design, and design and technology. Led by wearable technology faculty member Katherine Moriwaki, fashion design faculty member Aneta Genova, and product design director Rama Chorpash, cross-disciplinary teams of students will explore design technology and fabric innovation to create new objects from MCM textiles and tech products including controllers, solar panels, and LED lighting.

“Design innovation comes from collaborating across the disciplines, and this is at the heart of what we do at Parsons,” said Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. “Wearable technology brings together a number of design fields, and we are excited to have the top professionals in this area on our faculty and leading this effort.”

Each team will develop fashion five to six product prototypes that integrate their training in fashion, technology, and product design. Teams will also produce inspiration and fabric boards and sketches of three to six proposed products.

Later this year, the results of the competition will be showcased at a VIP media event. The projects will also be presented at the Parsons Fashion Benefit, taking place May 9. The winning team will receive a $5,000 prize, with two runners up receiving $2,500 each. In addition to the competition prizes, MCM will be donating $20,000 to establish MCM Scholars Fund at The School of Fashion at Parsons.

About Parsons The New School for Design:

Parsons The New School for Design is one of the leading institutions for design education in the world, offering graduate and undergraduate degrees in the full spectrum of design disciplines. With the launch of the first fashion design program in America in 1906, Parsons is credited with giving birth to Seventh Avenue, the epicenter of American fashion. In addition to its legendary Bachelor of Fine Arts program, and career-changing AAS programs in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing, this year the School of Fashion at Parsons launched an innovative Master of Fine Arts Program in Fashion Design and Society that was initiated through the support of Parsons alumna Donna Karan. For more information, visit www.newschool.edu/parsons.

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