NEW YORK — PPR, Parsons The New School for Design and The Fancy have joined forces to give Parsons students the chance to win an internship within one of the luxury group’s 16 brands.

This story first appeared in the May 14, 2012 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Students’ work will be featured on The Fancy, a Web site that’s part magazine, part shopping guide and part social network. The two winners of the competition will also be showcased at Barneys New York’s Madison Avenue store in September. The competition is focused on PPR’s defining theme, “Empowering Imagination,” and is designed to stimulate new ideas at the PPR brands.

Among PPR’s divisions are Gucci, Bottega Veneta, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Balenciaga, Brioni, Stella McCartney, Sergio Rossi, Boucheron, Girard-Perregaux, JeanRichard, Puma, Volcom, Cobra, Electric and Tretorn.

“PPR seeks to build bridges between the education and business communities within the fashion industry, and highlight its brands as drivers of creativity,” said Laurent Claquin, head of PPR in the Americas. “The Fancy and PPR’s partnership with the School of Fashion at Parsons will help to inspire and foster the world’s future design generations by empowering imagination.”

The competition is open to the current senior class of Parsons BFA Fashion Design program. Students in the areas of women’s and men’s ready-to-wear and accessories will compete for internships based on the quality and conceptual vision of their thesis collections, from the garments themselves to their portfolios and visual collateral.

Simon Collins, dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons, said the internship, which will run for one to two months, could take place in London, Paris, New York, Boston, Rome or Milan.“It’s flexible. They’ll be working with the brand to figure out the best time,” said Collins. It’s conceivable that the winners could do the internship before starting their full-time job. He said one student will win for ready-to-wear and one student will win for accessories.

“The opportunity for our students to work with such an esteemed roster of premier brands in both the luxury and sport and lifestyle sectors will provide these students with the additional experience that will all but guarantee them a strong start to their careers,” said Collins. “Partnering with PPR and The Fancy will provide our students with an international perspective, thus positioning them as design thinkers poised to lead fashion globally”

Joseph Einhorn, founder of, said, “We are looking forward to seeing what the brightest young designers in the world are dreaming up at Parsons.”

The top 20 candidates selected by Parsons will present their work today to a panel of fashion-industry insiders, including Collins, Claquin and Einhorn, as well as Dennis Freedman of Barneys, Candy Pratts Price of Vogue and Dree Hemingway, model and actress. The panelists will review the students’ work and select five finalists who best exemplify the theme. In mid-June, the finalists will have their collections featured on The Fancy, and the winning look and accessory, voted on by the public, will be awarded an expense-paid internship of up to $10,000 with the PPR brand of their choice. The winners will be revealed at the end of June. The partnership will be celebrated with a private event hosted by The Fancy during Fashion’s Night Out in September.

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