Safilo Group and The New School’s Parsons School of Design recently celebrated their Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis Competition partnership during the school’s 69th Annual Benefit and Gala on May 22, 2017.

Student finalist Olivia Le Blanc was presented with the Safilo Award and a $5,000 prize and four of the six Safilo prototypes were featured in the school’s runway fashion show which was attended by Rihanna and many other key players in the fashion industry.

Safilo and Parsons had provided 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 results of the students’ work were proudly on display at Vision Expo East.

A celebration of the up-and-coming designers of the next generation, the Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis 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.

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, VP, 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 students are: Samantha Sutton, Ji Hyun Myung, Olivia LeBlanc (winner), Eun Byul Kim, Myung Eun Cha and Seh Yoon Lee.

Marcer coached the six students throughout the entire process working closely with Safilo CAD engineering to perfect all aesthetic functional and technical elements of their designs to then see their creations brought to life by Safilo atelier.