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Parsons Hires New Dean of Fashion With Strong Background in Sustainability

Simon Collins's replacement has been found.
New Parsons Dean of Fashion Burak Cakmak. Photo: Courtesy Burak Cakmak/Parsons

New Parsons Dean of Fashion Burak Cakmak. Photo: Courtesy Burak Cakmak/Parsons

Parsons School of Design has been operating without a dean of fashion ever since Simon Collins vacated the position in December after six years in the role. On Tuesday, the school confirmed his replacement, Burak Cakmak. He will take over in early August.

The bulk of Cakmak's background is in sustainability and social responsibility. He joins Parsons from the Swarovski Group in London, where he served as the company’s first vice president of corporate responsibility.  Previous jobs include acting general manager of MADE-BY Benelux in the Netherlands, where he handled fashion sustainability practices for brands such as H&M, Tommy Hillfiger, Acne, Primark, Ted Baker and G Star. He also worked at luxury conglomerate Kering as the company's first director of corporate sustainability. His career in sustainability and fashion began at Gap, where he served as senior manager of social responsibility for eight years.

As dean of fashion, Cakmak will oversee the BFA in Fashion Design, AAS degree programs in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing and the MFA in Fashion Design and Society. Parsons has long prided itself as a leader when it comes to incorporating sustainable design into education; this aspect of the school will likely only improve under his leadership. “The School of Fashion at Parsons has always broken the mold when it comes to educating aspiring designers who set industry standards across the globe,” said Cakmak in a release. “I am thrilled to join the Parsons family in this exciting capacity to continue building a forward-thinking, inclusive academic culture within the School of Fashion.”

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