The competition underscores design and product excellence.

(Press Release) Safilo Group and The New School’s Parsons School of Design announce the launch of their first installment of the Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis Competition, a partnership in celebration of the up-and-coming designers of the next generation.

The competition underscores design and product excellence which echoes Safilo Group’s purpose as a design inspired and brand led eyewear manufacturer with product at the heart of its transformative 2020 corporate strategic plan. The Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis Competition builds not only on the value that Safilo places on eyewear and the company’s ongoing commitment to preserve eyewear craftsmanship, but also on Safilo’s commitment to educate younger generations by passing down the art of eyewear as the company has done with its Safilo Product School which was inaugurated in 2015 as an apprenticeship program.

Safilo and Parsons will provide six thesis-level BFA students with the opportunity to design eyewear as a pivotal component of their final thesis work and see their prototyped designs come to fruition through the oversight of Safilo designers and Parson’s School of Fashion faculty. The six students were chosen from a number of senior candidates who submitted their designs through Parsons and went through a screening process coordinated by Alessandro Marcer, vice president and creative director of Safilo USA, who heads the company’s New York design studio and Vladimiro Baldin, chief design product officer of Safilo Group.

The six finalists are: Samantha Sutton, Ji Hyun Myung, Olivia LeBlanc, Eun Byul Kim, Myung Eun Cha and Seh Yoon Lee.

Marcer will coach the six students throughout the entire process. Each student finalist will work closely with Safilo CAD engineering to perfect all aesthetic functional and technical elements of their designs and will ultimately see their creations brought to life by Safilo atelier. The technical CAD phase will take place through early December before proceeding to the prototyping and coloring phases resulting in final prototypes delivered in March 2017 in time for their thesis submissions.

The six student finalists will have the opportunity to win a cash prize of $5,000. The winning student will be selected by Safilo with the support of a panel of prominent fashion industry players. The winning prototype will be displayed during Parsons' end of year benefit in May.

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