Sustainability and social responsibility are key components of Parsons’ mission. And now, the groundbreaking design school has a new leader to help carry it out.
Burak Cakmak was recently named the new dean of fashion at Parsons School of Design, replacing Simon Collins who stepped down last December after six years in the position (he currently serves on the Parsons Board of Governors).
Cakmak brings 15 years of experience working with some of the fashion industry’s top companies as a sustainability expert and business strategist. He spearheaded innovation-driven sustainability strategies for luxury brands such as Gucci, Yves Saint Laurent, Alexander McQueen, Sergio Rossi, Balenciaga, and Stella McCartney; advanced sustainability practices for companies including H&M, Tommy Hillfiger, Acne, Primark, Ted Baker, and G Star; and spent eight years as the Senior Manager of Social Responsibility at Gap Inc.
Most recently, Cakmak worked at Swarovski Group in London as the company’s first Vice President of Corporate Responsibility. During his tenure, he established global programs fostering environmental stewardship.
“Cakmak brings extraordinary international experience, a spirit of interdisciplinary collaboration, and an ambitious vision for the future of fashion,” said Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons School of Design.
Cakmak holds an MBA from a joint program between San Francisco State University and CERAM Sophia Antipolis in France, a bachelor’s degree from the Middle East Technical University in Turkey, and a postgraduate certificate in Sustainable Business from the University of Cambridge.
Passionate about education, Cakmak established high-profile academic projects and partnerships in the United States, United Kingdom, France, China, Brazil, and India. He looks forward to steering the School of Fashion’s future.
“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,” he said.
Cakmak’s tenure begins in August.