Yoox and Parsons School of Design are upping their commitment to responsible fashion through the creation of a program for Parsons BFA Fashion Design students. The inaugural Yooxygen Award, named for Yoox’s social and environmentally conscious platform, will be presented to a BFA graduate during Parsons’ 69th Annual Benefit on May 22. The winner will partake in a six-month internship at Yoox headquarters in Milan, beginning in July, and work on a sustainable spring women’s collection to be sold under the graduate’s signature to be promoted and sold exclusively on Yoox in January 2018. An additional six-month internship at Yoox’s offices in New York beginning in September will be awarded to a second student.
“The whole idea was looking at how to bring education into the real world,” said Burak Cakmak, dean of fashion at Parsons School of Design. “We realized Yoox would be a great collaborator in this type of program, looking at how to translate sustainable design into products that are being sold to the end customer.”
Yooxygen was launched on Earth Day 2009 to promote sustainable fashion practices through education and collaborations. “Substantial change will likely come from fashion’s next generation,” said Federico Marchetti, chief executive officer of Yoox Net-a-porter Group, of the decision to partner with Parsons. “At our core, we are open to innovation and the fit with Parsons harnessed our vision and ideals. At YNAP, empowering people is at the heart of what we do through professional education for both employees and the greater community. Our partnership with Parsons will ensure a continuing message about sustainability reaches a wider audience.” Marchetti noted that Yooxygen has plans to launch a men’s selection in the fall using the guidelines from the Parsons partnership, and a curated design selection is also in the works.
The Yooxygen Award is the first step in Parsons and Yoox’s partnership. Down the road, the program’s agenda will expand to include guidelines and regulations on sustainable fashion, including responsible consumption, fair production and trade, low-environmental impact, and the empowerment of local craftsmanship, which Yooxygen will use to select the brands on its site.