Keanan Duffty Takes New Role at Istituto Marangoni Miami

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

Istituto Marangoni Miami has tapped him as its new Dean of Fashion, a post he will start 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 Istituto Marangoni’s campus there. He is also director of education at Istituto Marangoni Miami.

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Duffty, a Central Saint Martins alumni, will be making the switch from The New School’s Parsons School of Design, where he serves as director of fashion programs, provost’s office. His work experience includes founding the master’s program in Fashion Management at Parsons in 2019. He also served as its director and subsequently took on the post of director of fashion programs in Executive and Continuing Education at Parsons. He will exit Parsons at the end of the year.

Duffty won’t be giving up his New York apartment, and he will divide his time between New York and Miami. At what staffers call the “Miami Fashion School,” he will oversee 300-plus students, as well as the school’s continuing education and youth programs. Started in 2018, the Miami campus is expected to be at capacity within two years, a spokesman said.

A member of the Council of Fashion Designers of America and author of “Rebel Rebel: Anti-Style,” Duffty also works as a musician. His 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 was coming from a top U.S. school but also had the European heritage that Marangoni holds, someone who was not just ‘fashion’ but also had a background in art and music which really encapsulates Miami. We are happy to have Keanan joining the Miami fashion movement as we continue to grow.”

Partnerships will be high on 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 line up brand partnerships for industry projects at the school for styling, business and fashion design, the spokesman said.

In other Parsons-related news, the union representing part-time faculty at The New School’s six divisions, UAW Local 7902, declared a strike Tuesday after months of failed negotiations for a pay raise. Part-time faculty comprise 87 percent of The New School’s teaching staff. Part-time faculty are seeking their first raise in four years and are reportedly demanding 10 percent now and a 5 percent annual raise going forward.

The union represents approximately 2,600 members, of which 1,789 part-time faculty are teaching classes this fall, a New School spokesperson said. Parsons has 932 part-time faculty members, but school officials do not break out faculty numbers per school, The New School spokesperson said Wednesday.

Union officials tweeted an update Wednesday evening noting that the bargaining committee elected by The New School part-time faculty had met again Wednesday for several hours to prepare new responses to the university administration’s contract proposals. “We will meet again at the bargaining table tomorrow. Meanwhile, the strike continues,” the post read.

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

In the meantime, part-time faculty members in the union have put the brakes on teaching classes and grading coursework. Some have joined the picket line outside of the school’s downtown campus.

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