First Fashion Campus NYC Draws Tomorrow’s Fashion Talent

Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons with Parsons Alumnus Derek Lam

Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons with Parsons Alumnus Derek Lam

New York—Want to make it in fashion in the big city? It doesn’t hurt to build your connections… and to start early.

Nearly 200 fashion interns from more than 90 universities and 150 companies descended on New York for the first Fashion Campus NYC, a weekend-long networking event that groom’s tomorrow’s fashion professionals.

The event was held last weekend, sponsored by Parsons The New School for Design and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC).

It is part of NYC Mayor Bloomberg’s FashionNYC2020 initiative, which aims to sustain local industry by attracting the next generation of talent—both at the design level and the business side.

Students got to attend “Backstage Pass,” a panel discussion with industry professionals moderated by Simon Collins, the Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. Panelists worked in product management, merchandising, marketing and buying. “A Tailored Approach” consisted of a series of career services breakout sessions organized in collaboration with LIM College. The event also had a networking brunch with leading fashion companies and a conversation with Derek Lam.

Fashion: a NYC Economic Engine

“The design industries—including fashion—represent one of the key economic engines of New York City,” said Parsons Executive Dean Joel Towers, who was represented at the event by Dean Collins. “Parsons has played an important role over the last century in attracting and sustaining the top creative talent here in New York City, and we place a great value in this new partnership with NYCEDC to help the City continue to grow its economy in this area.”

The fashion industry employs 165,000 people (5.5% of the City’s workforce), and generates nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. New York City is also home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, attracting more than 500,000 visitors a year to trade shows, showrooms and stores. Fashion Campus NYC is one of six initiatives resulting from FashionNYC2020.

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Lauren Parker, Accessories Magazine

Lauren Parker, Editor-in-Chief, Accessories Magazine &
As Editor-in-Chief of Accessories for the past 14 years, Lauren Parker has covered women's fashion accessories both from a retail business perspective and a fashion point of view. She frequently judges industry design competitions and loves seeing the next generation of designers come into their own. In previous full-time magazine jobs and freelance gigs, she’s written about practically every angle of fashion lifestyle living, including women's fashion accessories, fine jewelry, Caribbean travel, private jets, Hampton’s real estate, the New York art scene, the bridal industry, men’s lifestyle and being a mom. She loves meeting designers and seeing how their latest offerings capture the current zeitgeist and fit into the entire cultural and social picture.