The class of 2019 graduates from the Fashion Institute of Technology’s Master of Professional Studies program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management presented their capstone research projects at the program’s annual Capstone Research night.
This year’s research and presentations, backed by Luminess, centered on a theme of beauty and technology.
Students examined future evolutions in technology and their impact on society, and by extension, the beauty industry. The topic of technology was chosen by the students — a first for the program — and the research highlighted in the first presentation delved into how innovations such as artificial intelligence, blockchain and quantum computing, will ultimately alter class structure, the labor force, the environment and even the economy. A second presentation explored singularity, the point at which robots can think, react and create like humans.
The topic was a complex one, noted Stephan Kanlian, professor and chair of the FIT Master of Professional Studies program in cosmetics and fragrance marketing and management.
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“We are on the cusp of a fifth industrial revolution,” Kanlian said. “I think you will find tonight’s research shocking, daunting and a bit concerning.”
On a lighter note, Sean Mehta, chief executive officer and chief innovation officer of Luminess, spoke to what his company is doing to improve the futures of its employees’ children. “One last message — I know there are many leaders here from the industry. About 10 years ago [Luminess] started offering employees a program where we’d pay for their college education. I would like for our industry to be the first industry that actually takes care of our extended families — our families at work, sometimes we see them more than our home families. This is an industry that cares a lot about its people. Can we please do something cool and show the world that we care about our family?”
An awards ceremony closed out the evening. The recipients were: Outstanding Scholarship Award and Scholarship Recognition: Katie Berman, L’Oréal and Ewa Garbos, Shiseido; Coty Award for Professional Excellence: Corey Moran, Google; L’Oréal Student Leadership Award: Tracy Taylor, Firmenich; Estée Lauder Companies Faculty Leadership Award: Katie Berman; Department Medal: Professor Karen Young.