Parsons names new dean of fashion

Monday, 13 April 2015

There’s a new man in town at Parsons the New School of Design. Burak Cakmak will be the new Dean of the School of Fashion, and will be officially stepping into his new role in early August. The programs he will be overseeing include the extremely prestigious BFA in Fashion Design; AAS degree programs in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing; and the MFA in Fashion Design and Society.

“Cakmak brings extraordinary international experience, a spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, and an ambitious vision for the future of fashion,” Joel Towers, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design said in a press release. “Cakmak’s leadership will further elevate the School of Fashion’s already stellar reputation as a global leader in design and our students will benefit from his more than 15 years of experience forging strong research partnerships as a business strategist and sustainability expert for some of the largest, most prestigious retail companies and luxury brands in the world.”

In an era where sustainability is becoming a major necessity in the fashion industry, Cakmak is seen as the ideal man for the job. He has facilitated successful collaborations with a very long list of suppliers, NGOs, governments, and retailers to promote change in the fashion industry and create sustainable fashion practices. His most recent role was a stint at Swarovski Group in London where he served as the company’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. His primary responsibility at Swarovski was to establish global programs to foster environmental stewardship.

Parsons names new Dean

Cakmak managed to implement sustainable practices across the departments of supply chain management, retail, raw material sourcing, crystal manufacturing, and jewelry assembly. Prior to his work at Swarovski, Cakmak worked as the General Manager of MADE-BY Benelux where he worked on advancing sustainability for an impressive list of brands, including Tommy Hilfiger, Acne, Primark, and Ted Baker just to name a few. His impressive resumé doesn’t stop there, however.

He is the former Director of Corporate Sustainability of Kering, the luxury conglomerate which owns Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Balenciaga. Cakmak began his career at Gap Inc. where he was the Director of Social Responsibility for 8 years. This won’t be his first time working with Parsons either.

He was the force behind the creation of the Sustainable Technology for Future Luxury Scholarship at the prestigious design school. “The School of Fashion at Parsons has always broken the mold when it comes to educating aspiring designers who set industry standards across the globe,” Cakmak said in the press release. “I am thrilled to join the Parsons family in this exciting capacity to continue building a forward-thinking, inclusive academic culture within the School of Fashion.” He will have a very rigorous job molding the next generation of designers, but he looks like he should a very easy time given his impressive list of experiences.