If you haven’t been able to get your hands on Rihanna’s merchandise (her Fenty Puma collection regularly sells out), you’re still in luck. Rihanna has revealed that she will further strengthen her ties to the fashion industry by collaborating with The New School’s Parsons School of Design, Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation and Haitian artists to develop a line of merchandise.
Expect the new collection to have a Haitian feel to it because Rihanna is sending Parsons School design students to the Design, Organization, Training Center in Port-au-Prince, Haiti this summer (17) to work with local artists on the styles for the new venture.
A press release stated that over the summer, six to eight students from the art and design school will travel to Haiti to work with local artists at the Design, Organization, Training Center in Port-au-Prince, a vocational training center launched in by Karan, Parsons, and Haitian artisan Paula Coles.
“We are ecstatic that our students will have the opportunity to work with and develop a merchandise line for Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation, that, like Parsons, shares a strong commitment to creating positive social change,” says Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons who played an integral role in launching D.O.T. “Through this partnership with Donna Karan and Urban Zen, students will live Parsons’ mission, taking a multidisciplinary collaborative approach and utilizing local sustainable practices and healthier materials to create products that benefit Haiti and the Clara Lionel Foundation.”
Rihanna, who will be honored at Parsons Benefit, will announce the winners of the fellowship along with Karan at the event on May 22 in New York City. Karan was honored at the Benefit, a fundraiser for scholarships for Parsons students, last year.
Since its founding in 2015, the D.O.T Center has developed a training plan for educating local artisans — elevating local production practices, and helping artisans to develop their design expertise and create new products for market, as well as offering business services to a new generation of artisans. Parsons, through its Healthy Materials Lab, has advocated for the use of sustainable and local materials at the D.O.T Center.