The First Annual Fashion Campus NYC

Parsons The New School for Design and the New York City Economic Development Corporation (NYCEDC) hosted the first Fashion Campus NYC, a weekend-long, career-building and networking event to help talented students pursue fashion in New York City on July 15th and 16th, 2011. Nearly 200 interns from more than 90 universities and 150 companies attended the event, as well as fashion industry representatives from more than 25 New York-based companies, including Aeropostale, Gilt Groupe, Lord & Taylor, Calvin Klein and Macy’s. A highlight of the event was a talk with Parsons alumnus Derek Lam.

Fashion Campus NYC is one of a series of initiatives that resulted from Mayor Bloomberg’s FashionNYC2020 plan to sustain and grow the fashion industry in New York. At the event, NYCEDC President Seth Pinsky also announced that Parsons was selected to develop and implement a second initiative, Fashion Draft NYC. Slated to take place this fall, a select group of students from across the world will be brought to the city to network and interview with top fashion executives with a chance to earn full-time, management-track positions within one of the participating New York-based companies.

“With nearly 200 attendees, Fashion Campus NYC represents a strong opening of our FashionNYC2020 initiatives, designed to provide the industry’s future leaders with an opportunity to learn from some of the industry’s shining stars,” said NYCEDC President Seth W. Pinsky. “We are also very excited to be partnering with Parsons for another of our FashionNYC2020 initiatives, Fashion Draft NYC, which will identify the best talent from around the globe and seek to recruit them for fashion careers right here in New York City, the fashion capital of the world.”

At the event, students participated in “Backstage Pass,” a panel discussion with industry professionals moderated by Simon Collins, the Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. Panelists represented all facets of the business side of the industry, including product management, merchandising, marketing, and buying. “A Tailored Approach” consisted of a series of career services breakout sessions organized in collaboration with LIM College. In addition, the event featured a networking brunch with leading fashion companies and a conversation with Derek Lam.

“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, accounting for 5.5 percent of the City’s workforce, and generates nearly $2 billion in tax revenue annually. In addition, the City is home to one of the world’s largest wholesale fashion markets, which attracts more than 500,000 visitors a year to its trade shows, showrooms and retail stores. Fashion Campus NYC is one of six initiatives resulting from FashionNYC2020. These initiatives address the industry’s challenges in two ways: by further positioning the City as a hub of innovation for emerging designers as well as specialty and multi-channel retail, and by attracting the next generation of design, management and merchant talent. For more information about Fashion Campus NYC, visit To receive updates about Fashion Draft NYC, “like” the Fashion Draft page on Facebook.


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