December 7, 2021

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Transforming the Fashion Business Specialization from Parsons School of Design, The New School: Q&A with Keanan Duffty

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Keanan Duffty is the lead instructor for the Transforming the Fashion Business Specialization. This intermediate-level three-course specialization gives learners the opportunity to build and strengthen their knowledge of the fashion business landscape, develop new creative skills, and gain vital insights into how to transform their creative careers. Duffty is an award-winning British fashion designer, educator, and author of “Rebel Rebel Anti-Style” (Rizzoli/Universe, 2009). He is a member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America Education Committee and currently serves as the Director of Fashion Programs at Parsons School of Design. 

Why is the Transforming the Fashion Business Specialization so applicable to today’s world?

Fashion exists at the intersection of creativity and commerce. In order to understand the industry holistically, this specialization addresses the evolving landscape of the fashion industry. It’s important to understand how factors such as technology, innovation, local and global leadership, sustainability entrepreneurship, diversity and inclusivity, and new business models affect what we do. This specialization is taught by a diverse group of Parsons faculty and industry experts who bring years of experience and real-world application to each of these topics. 

Who is the ideal learner for this Specialization?

This Specialization is ideal for those who have fashion industry experience and are looking to develop a deeper understanding of their world, as well as those with similar creative backgrounds looking to get their start in the fashion industry. 

Why was this Specialization created?

Fashion is always at the forefront of innovation. It’s important that learners acquire the necessary skills to keep up with the evolving landscape. These lessons are designed to get students to challenge existing paradigms in the fashion world. They’ll also be asked to develop new and innovative ideas. Are there new technologies that can help designers increase their efficiency? An on-demand service for fashion production? Innovation in fashion isn’t limited to design. 

What knowledge will learners gain in this Specialization?

The professionals who complete this Specialization will gain a deeper knowledge of the fashion industry, learn advanced skills in global and local manufacturing, ethical production, value chains, marketing, and forward thinking design practices.

What do you find most exciting about the launch of this Specialization?

I’m most excited about the Fashion Retail Transformation course because there has never been a better time to learn about the new opportunities that come with consumer shifts. This past year, we’ve seen how our world can shift to meet the needs of life during the pandemic. There’s a greater willingness to shop online,  more intense brand loyalty, and an openness to new brand relationships that wasn’t there before. All of this breeds new opportunities. 

What is one of the most surprising things about Transforming the Fashion Business that you will cover in this program?

Professionals who take these three courses will be surprised to discover new ways to streamline processes, explore rapid innovation methods that unlock opportunities in retail, and develop strategies to influence consumer behavior, all within one Specialization.

What do you want prospective learners to know about this Specialization?

I want our prospective learners to know that this unique program will teach them how to reinvent fashion industry systems, create solutions for issues related to social media and e-commerce, integrate sustainability and social responsibility at all levels, and innovate for a constantly evolving industry. 
Get started by enrolling in the Transforming the Fashion Business Specialization today.

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