Parsons School of Design Announces New Couture Course Inspired by Iconic Designer Norman Norell

The New School’s Parsons School of Design announces the “Norell x Parsons” course as part of the spring 2017 couture curriculum. A creative collaboration conceived in partnership with Parsons, Parlux Ltd., and Neiman Marcus, the unique program addresses the emerging, modern day challenges facing a new generation of fashion industry talent, inspired by the legacy of American designer, Norman Norell.parsons_logo

Fusing the worlds of fashion, art, and commerce, “Norell x Parsons” challenges students to interpret the Norell brand heritage through a contemporary couture approach, practice, and development over the course of one semester. Students will design and create a piece based on Norell’s classic designs, while also learning the necessary skills to creatively lead a fashion house in the current fashion industry.

The Parsons School of Design, founded in 1896, is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree, and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

A Selection Committee including Fashion Designer and Parsons Alumni, Jason Wu, Parsons Dean of Fashion, Burak Cakmak, The Fashion Group International President, Margaret Hayes, Fashion Designer and Author, Jeffery Banks, CR Fashion Book Online Director, Ray Siegel, Parlux Ltd. President and The Fashion Group International Chairman of the Board, Donald Loftus, Neiman Marcus Senior Vice President & Fashion Director, Ken Downing, photographer Michael Avedon and Parsons Faculty will evaluate the creative concepts of each student designer.

Renowned for his legendary aesthetic that revolutionized American ready-to-wear and the American designer fragrance industry, Norell was one of the first American fashion designers to launch a namesake fragrance. Following the 2015 launch of the re-mastered iconic scent, Norell New York, Norell Elixir launched in fall 2016 exclusively at Neiman Marcus.

This course aims to arm students with the knowledge needed to succeed in today’s ever-challenging fashion and retail environments,” said Loftus.Norell’s legacy highlights the evident synergies between designer fashion and fragrance, and the value of a brand embracing both style and scent to effectively position itself among today’s luxury lifestyle powerhouses.”

Creating the future of fashion can only be achieved with a passionate understanding of the past,” said Downing. “I’m excited for the next generation of the industry’s great talents to uncover the brilliance of Norman Norell, as they forge a new path in fashion history.

At the conclusion of the couture course, the Norell New York’s leadership team will select one winning design that will be showcased in the Neiman Marcus Christmas Book, a longstanding retail partner, and made available to sell as a special order.

Creative directors at today’s fashion houses often look to a company’s archives for history, inspiration, and creativity to understand a brand’s DNA before establishing their own, modern imprint for the brand,” said Cakmak. “This course will offer our students important hands-on industry experience, and help prepare them to enter a new era of creative direction in the fashion industry.”

The student winner will be announced in May 2017.

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