Keanan Duffty takes a key role in fashion at Istituto Marangoni Miami – WWD

While thousands of snowbirds are flocking to Florida to escape the winter chill, designer Keanan Duffty is heading to Miami for a new job.

Istituto Marangoni Miami has chosen him as the new Dean of Fashion, a position that will begin in January. The British-born, New York-based creative will succeed Massimo Casagrande, who relocated to Paris to serve as dean of fashion design at the Istituto Marangoni campus. He is also director of education at Istituto Marangoni Miami.

Duffty, a Central Saint Martins alumnus, will transition from Parsons School of Design to the New School, where he serves as director of fashion programs, dean’s office. His work experience includes founding the Fashion Management master’s program at Parsons in 2019. He also served as its director and later assumed the position of director of fashion programs in Executive and Continuing Education at Parsons. He will leave Parsons at the end of the year.

Duffty will not give up his New York apartment and will divide his time between New York and Miami. At what her staff members call the “Miami Fashion School,” she will supervise more than 300 students, as well as the school’s continuing education and youth programs. Started in 2018, the Miami campus is expected to be fully booked within two years, a spokesperson said.

A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and author of “Rebel Rebel: Anti-Style,” Duffty also works as a musician. Her multidimensional perspective and international background appealed to the executive search team, and it took a “long time” to find the right candidate, according to Hakan Baykam, founder and chief executive officer of Istituto Marangoni Miami. “We wanted someone who came from a top US school but also had Marangoni’s European heritage, someone who was not just ‘fashion’ but also had a background in art and music that really encapsulates Miami. We are delighted that Keanan is joining the Miami fashion movement as we continue to grow.”

Partnerships will be at the top of his to-do list. Duffty is expected to work closely with New York Fashion Week, along the lines of how the school has partnered with fashion weeks in Latin America. Duffty aims to form brand partnerships for industry projects at the school in styling, business and fashion design, the spokesperson said.

In other Parsons-related news, the union representing part-time faculty at the New School’s six divisions, UAW Local 7902, called a walkout Tuesday after months of failed negotiations over a salary increase. Part-time faculty make up 87% of the New School’s teaching staff. The part-time faculty are looking for their first raise in four years and are reportedly asking for 10% now and a 5% annual raise in the future.

The union represents about 2,600 members, of which 1,789 part-time faculty members will be teaching classes this fall, a New School spokesman said. Parsons has 932 part-time faculty members, but school officials do not break down the number of faculty members by school, a New School spokesman said Wednesday.

Union officials tweeted an update Wednesday night noting that the New School’s part-time faculty-elected bargaining committee had reconvened Wednesday for several hours to prepare new responses to the university administration’s contract proposals. “We will see you tomorrow at the negotiating table. Meanwhile, the strike continues,” reads the post.

Declining the media’s request to speak to a school official, the spokesperson referred to online posts about the situation. A joint statement released Tuesday by Tokumbo Shobowale, executive vice president of business and operations, and Sonya Williams, vice president of human resources, he noted that university representatives had been negotiating with ACT-UAW Local 7902 members for more than 10 hours and that the union had agreed to continue the bargaining Thursday and Friday. They “indicated a willingness to accept mediation to break any impasses and help reach an agreement. We strongly believe that the support of a mediator can help resolve these negotiations quickly,” the statement read.

Meanwhile, part-time union teachers have put a brake on teaching classes and coursework assessments. Some joined the picket line outside the school’s downtown campus.

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