Parsons Names New Dean of Fashion

NEW SCHOOL TAPS NEW DEAN: The New School has named Ben Barry dean of the School of Fashion at its Parsons School of Design.

Barry serves as the chair of fashion, associate professor of equity, diversity and inclusion, and director for the Center for Fashion and Systemic Change at Ryerson University.

The New School has come under fire in recent months over issues of diversity, equity and inclusion among its faculty. Asked if Barry’s appointment was in response to the diversity problems at the school, a New School spokesman said no. Barry is succeeding former dean of fashion Burak Cakmak, who exited in the spring at the end of his term, the spokesman said.

Barry will take on his new post on July 1. In that role, he will oversee all areas of the school including a curriculum that encompasses the bachelor of fine arts in fashion design; associate of applied science degree programs in fashion design and fashion marketing; master of fine arts in fashion design and society; M.F.A. in textiles, and the master of professional studies in fashion management. He plans to work with academic leaders to create a fashion education for the future from a global perspective, according to The New School.

With 15 years of experience, Barry specializes in equity, diversity and inclusion, and teaches courses on fashion and systemic change, queer fashion design and design justice. He has been awarded more than $1.5 million in funding to support his research programs that explore the intersectional fashion experiences of the disabled, obese, trans and queer people. He collaborates with them to codesign clothing and fashion media.

Barry is coeditor of “Crossing Gender Boundaries: Fashion to Create, Disrupt and Transcend,” as well as the upcoming anthology “The Fashion Activist: Transforming Fashion Education and Ending Body Oppression.”

Before venturing into the world of academia, Barry started an inclusive modeling agency. In turn, he received the Governor General’s award in commemoration of the Person’s Case for advancing gender equality in Canada.

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