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  • Advisory Board

  • The Parsons Paris Advisory Board draws on an elite global array of creative leaders. These changemakers from across the spectrum of industries connect with students and amplify our school’s mission of cross-pollinating creative fields and creating impact through art and design.

  • Corice Arman

    Collector and Head of Arman Trust

    With a background in fine arts and design, collector and educator Corice Arman is a passionate patron of the arts, both in the United States and France. Her advocacy on behalf of art, art history, and artists developed and deepened during her marriage of 35 years to the renowned artist Arman, who died in October 2005. Together she and Arman assembled a personal art collection, including antiquities, works by contemporary artists, and one of this country’s most distinguished collections of African tribal art. For more than 20 years, Corice Arman was a trustee of New York’s Museum for African Art and was deeply involved with the museum’s outreach and educational programs. As trustee of Arman’s estate, she works tirelessly to further the understanding of the historical significance of Arman’s artistic legacy and that of his colleagues. In recognition of her contributions as art collector, patron, and educator, the French Ministry of Culture appointed Corice Arman a Chevalier de L’Ordre des Arts et des Lettres in 2009.

    Miren Arzalluz

    Director of Palais Galliera

    Miren Arzalluz studied history (BA) at the University of Deusto and comparative politics (MSc) at the London School of Economics before specializing in the history of dress and fashion at the Courtauld Institute of Art (MA). Between 2007 and 2013, she was curator and head of collections at the Cristóbal Balenciaga Foundation, where she played a key role in the conception and curation of the new Balenciaga Museum, inaugurated in June 2011. As a freelance curator and researcher, she has collaborated with various fashion museums on diverse projects such as Fashion Mix—Mode d’ici, créateurs d’ailleurs (Palais Galliera—Palais de la Porte Dorée, Musée de l’histoire de l’immigration); Les Années 50—La Mode en France1947-1957 (Palais Galliera—Museo de Bellas Artes de Bilbao); and Game Changers: Reinventing the 20th-Century Silhouette (MoMu Antwerp). She is currently director of Palais Galliera, Musée de la Mode de la Ville de Paris.

    Gérald Azancot

    President of Groupe Fiminco and Fondation Fiminco

    As a private collector and an entrepreneur, Gérald Azancot has supported the arts in France for more than a decade.

    He has been a patron of several cultural institutions such as the Musée du Louvre, Salle Pleyel, and the Paris Opera. Azancot is an active supporter of the French National Collections and a member of the Acquisition Committee of the Centre Pompidou Friends—Musée National d’Art Moderne.

    Through Groupe Fiminco, which was founded by Azancot in 1993, he supported the Orchestre de Paris from 2011 to 2018 as well as other cultural institutions, such as the educational programs of Festival d'Automne in Paris. Azancot is a founding member and treasurer of the Cercle de l’Orchestre de Paris, where he initiated an educational program allowing children from the Paris suburbs to meet and work with the musicians of the orchestra.

    In 2016, Azancot launched his most significant philanthropic project so far: creating (with the future international residency program in Romainville) an artistic and cultural hub in the Grand Paris, to open in 2019. The hub will welcome philanthropic activities in support of the arts, private galleries, and academic and associative structures such as the Fonds Regional d'Art Contemporain (Paris Region).

    Albert Bensoussan

    Consultant in Luxury Management

    Albert Bensoussan has more than 28 years of experience in managing apparel, accessories, shoes, watches, and jewelry in the luxury retail industry in Europe and Asia. He was the director of the watches and jewelry division at Cartier from 1984 to 1994. From 1996 to 2000, Bensoussan was the president of Givenchy Couture in Japan, responsible for local retailing of ready-to-wear apparel and accessories. Before his posting in Japan, he had managed the leather goods, fashion accessories, and eyewear division in France for Givenchy. Earlier Bensoussan was associated with Moet Hennessey – Louis Vuitton for more than 16 years, serving in various senior capacities. He was the director of the watch and jewelry business unit for the Louis Vuitton brand from 2003 to 2010 and the sales and marketing director of the entire LVMH Watch & Jewelry Division from 2000 to 2003. In that role, he was responsible for integrating all the brands acquired at the end of 1999, including streamlining distribution subsidiaries, planning distribution in China and India, and assisting individual brands with their marketing strategies. As the owner of AB Consultants, he advised retail groups on business plans and brand, sales, and marketing strategies for four years. From 2014 through 2019, Bensoussan served as chief executive officer for the Luxury — Watches & Jewelry Division at Kering Group.

    Grégoire Blanche

    Regional Managing Director for the European Region of Cartier

    Grégoire P. Blanche began his professional career in 1996 with the internationally acclaimed firm Jewellery Maison Cartier. Having majored in marketing and business management, he focused on product management, communication, and branding and was posted in Europe and the Americas. He was then appointed chief of staff to the Cartier president, Bernard Fornas. In this pivotal role, he contributed to the drafting and formulating of the Maison’s global strategy. Building on this rich experience, Blanche returned to operational missions, successfully taking the leadership role of the fast-growing Southeast Asian Region before being appointed regional managing director for the European Region in 2017. With a mandate to accompany the Maison’s transformation in its leading and historical markets, he has engaged his teams in a thoughtful reassessment of its core offering and positioning.

    Blanche has developed over the years a deep understanding of the jewelry and fashion industries and is a regular keynote speaker at international luxury conferences and summits. He has also served as a board member of the Cartier Charitable Foundation since its inception in 2012.

    Dominique Bluhdorn

    President, The Altos de Chavon Cultural Center Foundation

    Dominique Bluhdorn established the Altos de Chavón Cultural Center Foundation in the Dominican Republic, with the mission of developing and supporting a multifaceted arts community that encompasses the visual and performing arts, craft workshops, an artist-in-residence program that also serves as the Caribbean site for the Davidoff Arts Initiative, an archaeological museum, and teaching programs in design and visual arts.

    At the center of the Cultural Center Foundation is the Altos de Chavón School of Design, with campuses in La Romana and Santo Domingo. Since its establishment in 1983 the school has been affiliated with Parsons. This two-year university-level school has graduated nearly 3,000 students, many of whom now hold distinguished creative positions in fashion, graphic design, digital design, fine arts, and illustration around the world.

    Bluhdorn is a member of the Davidoff Art Initiative Advisory Council. She has served on the boards of the Corcoran Gallery in Washington, DC, and the New York Academy of Art.

    Jimmy K.W. Chan

    Founder and Chairman of Semeiotics

    Jimmy Chan began his journey by persuading his parents to let him forgo a university education to pursue a career. He invested in the first streetwear store in Hong Kong in 1991–1992 and went on to his ventures in Toronto: a streetwear store (carrying Stüssy, Union, Supreme, and Bathing Ape, and other brands) in 1993–1994 and a haute couture store (carrying Yohji Yamamoto & Comme des Garçons) in 1994–1995. When he sold his business in 2000, his company operations had expanded from 1,000 square feet to more than 8,000 square feet, with over 26 exclusive brands and 20 staff members.

    Dissatisfied with the state of retail and seeking greater creative opportunities, Chan applied to and attended Parsons School of Design in New York to develop his knowledge of design and aesthetics.

    In 2003, Chan founded Semeiotics to serve as a creative platform, with investments in Paris, New York, and Hong Kong. Though focused primarily on fashion, the company is also involved in other creative fields, such as graphic design, film, and publishing.

    Madison Cox

    President of Fondation Pierre Bergé-Yves Saint Laurent & Fondation Jardin Majorelle in Morocco

    Olivier Gabet

    Director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs

    Olivier Gabet is a French art historian and curator.

    He started his career at the Musée d’Art Moderne de la Ville de Paris in 2002. In 2005, he joined the Musée d’Orsay, where he was the curator in charge of decorative arts and also responsible for the contemporary art program, Correspondances, involving many French and international artists.

    From 2007 to 2013, he was part of the team in charge of the project of Louvre Abu Dhabi, first as curator for decorative arts and then as deputy curatorial director.

    In 2013, at age 37, Olivier Gabet became director of the Musée des Arts Décoratifs in Paris, an institution that holds national collections of design and fashion. Since then, he has curated several exhibitions, including Fornasetti and Korea Now! (2015), L’Esprit du Bauhaus (2016), and Christian Dior, couturier du rêve (2017).

    Gay Gassmann

    Contributing Editor, Architectural Digest

    Art consultant, writer, and editor Gay Gassmann’s creative career spans decades and continents. Gassmann is an American who has spent most of her life abroad, creating a vast network across the worlds of fashion, art, publishing, and lifestyle. An academically trained art historian, she has collaborated with the J. Paul Getty Museum, Peter Marino Architect, T Magazine: The New York Times Style Magazine, and the Serpentine Galleries in London. Gassmann is currently a contributing editor at Condé Nast and an ambassador for Architectural Digest. She also works closely with contemporary artists on site-specific commissions and projects and contributes art-focused features to the pages of Architectural Digest, both online and in print. She recently co-authored a Phaidon monograph on the contemporary French artist Jean-Michel Othoniel. Gassmann has also served on the Parsons Paris Senior Fashion Jury for several years.

    Alexandra Gowdie

    Global Head of Client Development at Stella McCartney

    Alexandra Gowdie has more than ten years’ experience in the luxury industry. She is now based in London, where she serves as the global head of Client Development at Stella McCartney. She specializes in customer relationship management and client development strategies, focusing on client experiences and growth and producing impressive results.

    An Australian native, Gowdie has lived abroad for most of her professional life. She started her career in the LVMH group in the Asia-Pacific region. She went on to work in the UK as a consultant to service brands in the LVMH Fashion Group, then served as the global private client relations manager for Louis Vuitton in Paris.

    Gowdie is a graduate of Bond University and is a qualified legal practitioner. Passionate about education and learning, she has taught the Marketing, PR, and Branding course at Parsons Paris for several years while working full-time.

    Paul Guyot-Sionnest

    Head of Institutional Affairs, Kering

    Paul Guyot-Sionnest is the head of institutional affairs at Kering, a global luxury group led by François-Henri Pinault. Since 2014, he has overseen Kering's relations with companies and political institutions, employing an international approach to a perpetually changing sector.

    A graduate of Sciences Po Paris and ESSEC Business School, Guyot-Sionnest began working in the political sphere alongside former French Prime Minister Dominique de Villepin and Roger Karoutchi. Since 2011, he has served as an advisor to Bruno Le Maire, the French minister of the economy, first in the Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Fisheries and then in the minister's campaign team. In 2015, he was elected vice president of the Young Republicans and board member of Les Républicains.

    Guyot-Sionnest has also worked in a number of private-sector organizations, including Crédit Agricole in New York and Lazard and Caisse de dépôt et placement du Quebec in Paris.

    In 2019, Guyot-Sionnest was elected a Young Leader of the France-China Foundation. He is also involved with the Philippe Chatrier Foundation, which fights Alzheimer's disease, and the Friends of Philharmonie de Paris Association.

    Leon Jakimič

    President of Lasvit

    Leon Jakimič is founder and president of Lasvit, the Czech Republic-based manufacturer of unique works of glass, including bespoke glass art installations, innovative design lighting, and original crystal glassware. Born into a glassblowing family in Liberec, Czech Republic, Jakimič graduated in 1998 from Loyola Marymount University in Los Angeles with a Bachelor of Business Administration and Economics degree. He came to Hong Kong in 1999 to complete his studies at the Kellogg-HKUST EMBA and founded Lasvit in 2007.

    Over the course of 12 years, Jakimič has built Lasvit into a prestigious multinational company that has won worldwide recognition, including, most recently, receiving the Milan Design Award at Salone del Mobile 2018. His vision is for Lasvit to be the most inspirational and successful glassmaker in the world.

    Jakimič is a member of many prominent professional organizations, including the Hong Kong-Europe Business Council and Young Presidents' Organization, and through the Lasvit Foundation is actively engaged in supporting underserved people in the North Bohemian region of the Czech Republic. He is a keen tennis player and the father of five children. He and his wife, Lucie, live in Hong Kong.

    Florence Leclerc-Dickler

    Dean of Parsons Paris

    Florence Leclerc-Dickler is the dean of Parsons Paris. She is also senior director for Strategic Academic Partnerships and works on both campuses — New York and Paris — of The New School. Leclerc-Dickler has spent most of her life abroad and currently lives in the United States and France. She obtained her master's degree in translation from the École de Traduction et d’Interprétation of Geneva, Switzerland, as well as an MBA in Marketing from SUNY New Paltz. For a number of years, she chaired the Foreign Languages Department at The New School in New York, where she taught all levels of French language and culture. In 2013, she moved back to France to relaunch Parsons Paris. Florence Leclerc-Dickler is also an associate professor of foreign languages and a fiction writer: RoméoXXL was published in January 2017 and Elle avait du Chien! in March 2018 at Editions ThoT.

    Tim Marshall

    Deputy Vice-Chancellor at the College of Design and Social Context and Vice-President of and Professor at RMIT University

    Tim Marshall is the deputy vice-chancellor at the College of Design and Social Context and vice-president of and professor at RMIT University in Melbourne, Australia, the No. 1 art and design school in the country. He assumed this role in January 2021 after serving as provost and chief academic officer of The New School from 2009 to 2020. Previously Marshall was the dean of Parsons School of Design, where he developed an ambitious comprehensive academic plan that included an integrated suite of undergraduate and graduate design degrees. He served as Parsons’ associate dean for Academic Affairs from 2004 to 2006 and held a tenured professorship at The New School. From 1994 to 2004, Marshall held a number of academic leadership positions at the University of Western Sydney in Australia, including chair of the School of Design and director of Academic and International Programs. He has also served as a consultant to academic institutions in Australia, Germany, Hong Kong, China, and Singapore and has been a visiting critic at the Köln International School of Design (KISD) and guest professor at the China National Academy of the Arts (CNAFA), Shanghai Institute of Design. Marshall has written and lectured widely on design research and design education. He was co-editor, with Michael Erlhoff, of Design Dictionary: Perspectives in Design, the first publication of its kind in print (Birkhauser Press, 2007). In recent years, Marshall has been a featured speaker at the Design Museum in London (“Design School: The Future of the Project,” 2016), Hong Kong Polytechnic University and Jockey Club Design Institute for Social Innovation (“Social Innovation Festival,” 2015), India Design Forum (2012), and the inaugural Beirut Design Week (2012). Early in his career, Marshall was a professional photographer and designer, and he has an extensive background in fine arts. He co-founded the Cadre Design group in Sydney, a firm that specialized in Web-based educational media. Marshall received his education at the City Art Institute and College of Fine Arts at the University of New South Wales, Australia.

    Arnauld Mitre

    Co-Founder of Coorpacademy

    Arnauld Mitre is co-founder and CEO of Coorpacademy, a growing company based in Paris, Lausanne, and London that provides usercentric corporate digital learning solutions. He also leads the content strategy and the commercial development of the company. In addition, Mitre is a professional speaker at Sciences Po Paris (Paris Institute of Political Studies).

    Before founding Coorpacademy in 2013, Mitre served as head of Agencies — Southern & Eastern Europe, Middle East, Africa at Google; deputy general manager at Isobar (Aegis Group); and general manager at Carat.

    A French native, Mitre studied at Paris’ ESSEC Business School, where he received his Master of Science in Management in 1997. He also received an MA in Applied Mathematics from Université Paris Dauphine in 1995.

     

    Matthew Pollock

    President of InDigital Media Group

    Matthew Pollock is an Australian entrepreneur who has been pioneering digital development since 1992. He has seen his companies influence the growth and development of the industry. Pollock is a founding partner of InDigital. In 2001, InDigital started working with major publications and fashion weeks around the world to modernize accreditation and image rights for digital content and its exploitation.

    In this new landscape, InDigital has become one of the leading video and stills companies for fashion, luxury, lifestyle, arts, and culture — amassing 6 million images and 25 years of video. In 2007, Pollock was asked to become a director of Fashion Rocks on behalf of the Prince’s Trust, and since 2014, he has worked with the UN and UNICEF to develop content programs such as John Lennon’s IMAGINE Project.

    Today Pollock is a partner in Fidem Capital Partners Hong Kong and executive director of Quintessentially China and Macau.

    Pollock and InDigital have worked with Parsons, both in New York and Paris.

    Judith Price

    President of The National Jewelry Institute

    Judith Price is a graduate of the University of Pennsylvania and attended Columbia University Graduate School of Economics. She is president of the National Jewelry Institute, which conducts courses and presents global events on the business of luxury in fashion, jewelry, beauty, and design. Price began her career at TIME magazine as a business reporter; she later founded AVENUE magazine and its international editions in China and Japan, which she published for 25 years.

    Price is the author of six books, including Executive Style and Masterpieces of French Jewelry. She has received an Emmy Award from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences as the creator of the NBC series Made in New York. Price received the L'Etoile Award from the International Herald Tribune, was honored by the mayor of Paris with the Medaille de Vermeil, and was appointed to the rank of Chevalier in the National Order of the Legion of Honor by the president of the Republic for her “exemplary personal commitment to the culture of France.”

    Price is currently a member of the Young Presidents’ Organization and the Chief Executives Organization.

    Ian C. Rogers

    Chief Experience Officer at Ledger

    Ian Rogers is the chief experience officer at Ledger, leading the consumer-facing business delivering the world’s #1 way to buy and secure cryptocurrency. Earlier Ian served as the chief digital officer at LVMH for five transformative years, working with a portfolio of nearly 100 brands across luxury, including Louis Vuitton, Dior, Sephora, and Hennessy. He also sits on the boards of Dr. Martens and Lyst.

    Rogers spent 20 years bringing digital music to the mainstream, first with Winamp and then Yahoo!, Beats, and Apple. He contributed to the 2015 launch of Apple Music and its digital streaming channel, Beats 1. He graduated with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science with honors from Indiana University in 1994 and was a member of Phi Beta Kappa. Rogers built some of the earliest music-related websites in the early 1990s and has been working with the Beastie Boys since 1993.

     

    Philippe Schaus

    Chief Executive Officer of Moët Hennessy

    A graduate of INSEAD, Philippe Schaus began his career in 1987 at J.P. Morgan Inc. before joining The Boston Consulting Group in 1990. In 1992, he became international commercial director of the Porcelain Tableware Division at Villeroy & Boch A.G. before being promoted to managing director for the division in 1999 and then member of the board.

    He joined Louis Vuitton in 2003 as president of the Europe Zone and was appointed senior vice president, international, in 2006. Between 2009 and 2011, he was executive vice president of Louis Vuitton. Schaus joined DFS Group in Hong Kong in 2011 as group president of Merchandising and Marketing. He was named chairman and chief executive officer of DFS Group in 2012. In 2017, he was appointed CEO of Moët Hennessy. He has been a member of the Executive Committee of LVMH since 2012.

    Leslie Serrero

    Directrice Générale Fendi France and Monaco

    Leslie Serrero has extensive experience in the fashion and luxury industry. She is currently general manager of Fendi for France and Monaco after spending seven years at Christian Dior Couture as SVP of Global Client Development, Marketing and e-Retail and a member of the executive committee of the brand. Previously Serrero served as EVP of Strategic Marketing at Lacoste SA., where she was responsible for turning around the brand globally after four years of declining sales.

    Before joining Lacoste, Serrero was a project leader at the Boston Consulting Group in New York, Sydney, and Paris. She specialized in developing and turning around brands, focusing on growth and marketing and retail strategies in the fashion, consumer, and retail industries.

    In 2013, Serrero was nominated as a Young Leader by the French American Foundation. In 2014, she was named a Rising Talent by the Women’s Forum. She is on the boards of the Harvard Business School Club of France and of the French American Foundation.

    Serrero graduated from ESSEC in 1997 and received an MBA from Harvard Business School in 2003.

    Stefano Tonchi

    Fashion Journalist, Author, and Curator

    Stefano Tonchi is a fashion journalist, author, and curator. Over the course of his award-winning career in the magazine industry, he has held the role of editor in chief of W, creator and editor in chief of T: The New York Times Style Magazine, and fashion creative director for Esquire. Under his leadership, the publications won a number of accolades:
    W won five National Magazine Awards, and
    T and Esquire were each named Magazine of the Year by the Society of Publication Designers. He is currently the global chief creative officer for the L’OFFICIEL group, overseeing its editorial activity in print and digital media in more than 30 countries.

    Tonchi is the co-curator of Italiana: Italy Through the Lens of Fashion, 1971–2001 at Milan’s Palazzo Reale and Bellissima: Italy and High Fashion 1945–1968, a traveling exhibition presented at the MAXXI Museum in Rome and NSU Art Museum Fort Lauderdale; he is also the co-author of the accompanying books. Before that, he oversaw the publication of W: Stories and W: The First 40 Years. His previous books include Uniform: Order and Disorder, accompanying an exhibition at MoMA PS1; Total Living, Excess: Fashion and the Underground in the ’80s, accompanying an exhibition at the Pitti Palace in Florence; Human Game: Winners and Losers; and Walter Albini and His Time. Most recently, he was the visual editor for the exhibition and book Memos on Fashion in This Millennium at Museo Poldi Pezzoli in Milan. In December 2021, Marsilio will publish L’OFFICIEL 100: One Hundred People and Ideas from a Century of Fashion, edited by Stefano Tonchi with Marco Pecorari.

    Tonchi has served as a guest lecturer at the Fashion Institute of Technology, Parsons, and Columbia University and has appeared on a variety of national television programs. As a public speaker and media commentator, he covers contemporary culture, society, and the future of fashion.

    Tonchi serves on the board of the International Center of Photography.

    Kay Unger

    Chair of Board of Governors of the Parsons School of Design

    Fashion designer, entrepreneur, and philanthropist, Kay Unger began her multifaceted career in 1968 as a design assistant to Geoffrey Beene. Two years later, she founded her own dress firm, Kay Unger — the first of several successful global fashion concerns she founded and managed, including The Gillian Group, Kay Unger New York, Kay J’s Pajamas, and Phoebe Couture. In 2012, she formed Kay Unger Design as a means of focusing her boundless energy on unique design projects that benefit from her creative and leadership skills.

    A committed philanthropist, Unger is CEO of the Kay Unger Family Foundation (KUFF), with its mission of “venture philanthropy.” KUFF supports foundations for cancer care and research and also provides funding for scholarships to underserved youth who display talent in the arts.

    Born and raised in Chicago, Unger has lived in New York throughout her career; she currently lives in SoHo. She has two sons and five grandchildren.

    Alisa Volskaya

    Executive Director and Head of Fundraising at Naked Heart Foundation

    Alisa Volskaya is an entrepreneur and a specialist in public relations, international fundraising, and partnerships. She studied at Trent University and Russian State University for the Humanities and holds a master’s degree in business administration. Volskaya started her career at Condé Nast International in Paris, where she managed digital projects and partnerships. Since 2015, she has served as executive director of Naked Heart France, a charity founded by the top model and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova. Volskaya has extensive experience in bringing in new talent, sponsors, partners, and donors to companies and organizations and building brand awareness at events taking place all over the world.

    Nicole Weiss

    Vice President and Global Head of Client Relations & Client Experience and High Jewelry at Tiffany & Co.

    Nicole Weiss is the vice president and global head of Client Relations & Client Experience and High Jewelry at Tiffany & Co. She has spent her career in the luxury goods industry, creating unique products, providing clients with extraordinary experiences, and growing and expanding luxury brands, consistently producing exceptional results. 

    Weiss has spent more than a decade with LVMH and before the company’s acquisition of Tiffany held senior leadership positions at Louis Vuitton and Christian Dior. She is an active volunteer and philanthropist with NY Presbyterian Hospital, the New York Public Library, New 42, the Spence School, and the Allen-Stevenson School. She is a graduate of Cornell University. 

    Weiss has a long-standing passion for and love of jewelry, fashion, art, and design. She recently returned to Manhattan with her husband and two children after three years living in Paris. 

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