Nolan Walsh and Conor Wilson came out of the gate swinging (or kicking) with the launch of Thursday Boot Co., their acclaimed footwear startup, last year.
Selling more than $400,000 in boots, the designers proved that you don’t need a big marketing budget to break into the fashion world—you need innovative thinking and an entrepreneurial spirit.
That’s just the set of skills students in Parsons School of Design’s Promotion Design class brought to the table when, this past semester, they created a series of Instagram campaigns touting Walsh and Wilson’s sought-after boots.
“The class came up with concepts, presented them, art directed photo shoots, and oversaw the image editing process with their client,” said Michael Robinson, who taught the class. “This project was all about engaging in a real-world experience in the setting of the academic lab.”
Students benefitted from weekly workshops with Walsh and Wilson, a pair of Colombia Business School graduates who launched a successful Kickstarter campaign and a product that has generated sizeable buzz in the media and fashion circles. Though Walsh and Wilson had much to teach the students, the entrepreneurs also learned a great deal from the aspiring designers at Parsons.
“Seeing how the students thought through creative process to make these pieces [and] working in this great collaborative environment—it was just fantastic,” Walsh said. “The students’ ability to create meaningful, poignant pieces on a very small budget was incredible.”
The project was born of a relationship between Walsh and Wilson and Robinson, who advised the Thursday Boot Co. founders on the design of their logo and later, proposed a the partnership. Walsh and Wilson have already featured several of the students’ Instagram campaigns on their social media feeds.
“It’s something everyone really enjoyed,” Walsh said of the project. “We’re hoping this grows into a lasting relationship.”
Speaking of lasting relationships, Thursday Boot Co. currently has internships and full-time positions open for both current students and recent graduates of The New School. To apply, email email@example.com.