For the past three years, tens of millions of Chinese citizens have tuned in to watch Creative Sky. Young fashion design talents from across China compete in a series of challenges, a la Project Runway, working themselves to the bone for the grand prize: a chance to study at the world’s foremost fashion school, The School of Fashion at Parsons The New School for Design.
Now in its fourth season, Sky has already sent several winners to study here, including first season winner Zhao Qianyan, who debuted his work this past September at New York Fashion Week as part of the first graduating class of Parsons’ acclaimed MFA Fashion Design and Society program, launched through support of alumna Donna Karan. “I think there’s a revolution going on in fashion,” Zhao told the Chinese fashion blog Red Luxury around the start Creative Sky’s third season. “I believe I am different. I’m simply myself.”
The show is extremely popular, and at the forefront of a new movement to give exposure and encouragement to the many young creative individuals in China. Contestants are guided by some of the top names in fashion from China and around the world, including Parsons alumni Derek Lam and Jason Wu, and Simon Collins, Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons. He is also the competition’s chief judge, and is responsible for choosing the ultimate winner.
“I was amazed at the craftsmanship and their desire to create something different,” Collins told Red Luxury about the show’s contestants.
Parsons’ work with Creative Sky highlights our status as a global leader in design. A new European academic hub, Parsons Paris, will open in 2013, and there are several more in the works, including plans to have a presence in Shanghai.
You can watch the first episode of Creative Sky season 4 above. It includes footage shot on campus during New York Fashion Week in September.