Simon Collins’s Replacement has a Strong Background in Corporate Responsibility


Parsons School of Design’s fashion department has found their new dean with a unique path, one of fashion sustainability and corporate responsibility. Burak Cakmak has been named the new Dean of Fashion at Parsons, replacing Simon Collins, who vacated the position after six years.

Cakmak’s expertise is in the field of sustainable design and he joins Parsons from the Swarovski Group in London, where he served as the company’s first vice president of corporate responsibility. Previously he acted as GM of MADE-BY Benelux in the Netherlands, advancing fashion sustainability practices for brands such as H&M, Tommy Hilfiger, Acne, Primark, Ted Baker, and G-Star, among others. Prior to that, Cakmak spearheaded innovation-driven sustainability strategies for Kering luxury brands, including Gucci and Yves Saint Laurent. He began his fashion career at Gap Inc. San Francisco, where he served as the Senior Manager of Social Responsibility for 8 years.Burak Cakmak.001

Cakmak’s leadership will further elevate the School of Fashion’s already stellar reputation as a global leader in design and our students will benefit from his more than 15 years of experience forging strong research partnerships as a business strategist and sustainability expert for some of the largest, most prestigious retail companies and luxury brands in the world.

Joel Towers
Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design

In a release, Parsons calls out that Cakmak “has facilitated successful collaborations with a wide range of suppliers, retailers, NGOs, governments, and media to drive positive, ethical industry change.”

Cakmak will take over in early August and as the dean of fashion will oversee the BFA in Fashion Design, AAS degree programs in Fashion Design and Fashion Marketing, and the MFA in Fashion Design and Society.