Parsons Partners with MasterCard for Fashion & Design Hack

March 2, 2016

12:05 pm

If you’ve ever watched Project Runway, you’ve heard of Parsons School of Design and know that it’s one of the most elite fashion design schools in the country. If students weren’t lucky enough just to attend the prestigious institution, they can sure consider themselves lucky now.

MasterCard has just announced that it will sponsor a Fashion and Design Hack competition for students. Participants will work in teams to design clothing that integrates the latest payment technologies. The team with the most cutting-edge design concept will win the $15,000 grand prize.

Take the growing popularity of wearables and clothing with built in technologies and pair it with the increasing prevalence of alternative payment methods that require neither cash nor cards and you have the perfect opportunity to do something really innovative and disruptive.

“As the world becomes more and more connected, the way consumers interact and transact is transforming,” said Sherri Haymond, senior vice president, Digital Payments and Labs, MasterCard in a statement. “What you buy and how you pay will soon blend seamlessly into your lifestyle as design, usability and technology merge together in new ways. The Fashion and Design Hack with Parsons is another way for us to integrate design-led thinking into payments innovation and tap into the creativity and ingenuity of the school’s design students.”

In the fall, MasterCard launched its Commerce for Every Device program, which introduced their concept of “connected commerce experiences.” The program aims at discovering the limitless ways in which commerce can be enabled through technology integrated with automotives, fashion, wearables, and a variety of other categories that have yet to be imagined.

“How people and products interact is changing rapidly,” said Burak Cakmak, dean of Parsons School of Fashion at The New School, in a statement. “More and more, companies are turning to design to help build a more positive consumer experience. By partnering with Parsons, MasterCard is engaging with our students’ creative and innovative approaches to design viable solutions.”

Teams of four will participate in the live hack thisSaturday, March 5. They will be tasked with creating a prototype of their payment enabled design. The teams will then have to give a live business pitch by presenting their projects to a panel of judges, including:


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Kristin is an aspiring entrepreneur who is enthusiastically navigating her way through the DC startup space. She has an unending passion for learning and is never satisfied with the status quo. During the day she is an ops, biz dev, and marketing maven for Fission Strategy

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