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Fashion as a System

Tuesday, May 7, 2019 at 4:45pm to 5:45pm

Martha Van Rensselaer West, G73

After a century of expansion, the fashion industry now generates a few trillion dollars in annual revenue. The current business models and industrial processes, however, are being challenged by internal and external shifts such as evolving consumer values and increasing political, social, and environmental pressures. In response to these challenges, we have the opportunity to redefine the role of fashion and shift our engagement with consumers from processing a transaction to a building a community. Burak Cakmak, Dean of Fashion at Parsons, is putting the design process at the center of the reinvention of the existing system and redefining the role of the fashion designer by imbuing purpose into the new scope of their responsibilities. The conversation will explore how the Parsons School of Fashion is rethinking how fashion engages with society.

Burak Cakmak is an expert on sustainable design. He was instrumental in introducing fashion sustainability practices at top industry companies—like Gap, Swarovski, and Kering brands including Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Balenciaga, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, and Stella McCartney—and is now building an inclusive academic culture for the future of fashion as Dean of Fashion at Parsons.

Reception at 4:00 in CHE Commons.


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Event Type

Seminar, Special Event


Human Ecology Fiber Science and Apparel Design, Fiber Science & Apparel Design, Sustainability, College of Human Ecology

Contact E-Mail

Contact Name

Karen Steffy

Contact Phone



Burak Cakmak, Dean

Speaker Affiliation

Parsons School of Design

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