Looking to add something awesome to your reading list? Just this week, a new tome dubbed The School of Fashion: 30 Parsons Designers hit the shelves, chronicling the lives and careers of some of the fashion school’s most notable alumni. The book was authored by none other than Simon Collins, Dean of Fashion, who spent the past year compiling materials and writing the 30 individual chapters that would eventually comprise the 58-page book. “When I realized there hadn’t been a book written, I figured it’d be crazy not to,” he said. Collins went to work.
Through numerous one-on-one interviews and rummaging through the designers’ personal archives, Collins was able to unearth a tremendous amount of insight that stretches beyond what we see on the runway. Each chapter is dedicated to a different Parsons alum, including the likes of Isaac Mizrahi, Alexander Wang, Reed Krackoff, Tracy Reese, and Jason Wu. Illustrations, sketches, photographs, personal quotes, and a Proustian-style Q&A offers a in-depth look at their experience at Parsons and their creative inspirations. “We’re not a one-size-fits-all school,” says Collins. “We have people like Yeohlee Teng, who is very conceptual and probably our most avant-garde alum, and then there’s Jenna Lyons, who has made J.Crew and fashion accessible and stylish for the masses. Parsons embodies both ends of the spectrum.”
The book also illustrates the cyclical nature of fashion inspiration, especially for those passing through the doors of the School of Fashion. “The key is that many of the designers were inspired by someone who had come before them. For instance, Claire McCardell basically invented sportswear and Donna Karan wanted to train where she had been. Narciso Rodriguez wanted to work with Donna Karan, and that’s why he knew Parsons was the place for him. Behnaz chose it because Narciso was a big inspiration for her. It’s a story of passing down a tradition from one generation to the next.”
A portion of the proceeds from the sales will go towards the creation of a new Parsons scholarship fund. So what are you waiting for? You can snag a copy on Amazon here!!
Time to get reading!