parsons school of design announces anna sui joins board of governors

Bill Brace, President of Jared, and Rafael Smith, Creative Lead for Google Delights, also join the board of the leading art and design school

L-R: Anna Sui, Bill Brace, Rafael Smith (top row) Robert Wong, Alexandra Moosally (bottom row)

May 6, 2021, New York - The New School’s Parsons School of Design announced today that it has elected designer and Parsons alum Anna Sui, Bill Brace, President of Jared and Jewelry Services at Signet Jewelers, and Creative Lead and UX Designer on Google’s Doodle and Delight Features team Rafael Smith to its Board of Governors. The new Board members represent a wide range of fresh perspectives that will build on the strengths of the existing Parsons Board of Governors, and continue to steer Parsons as one of the leading art and design schools in the world.

“I am thrilled that Anna, Bill, and Rafael have agreed to join our Board of Governors, where their unique insights and new ideas will be valuable assets to the vital work our Board does in its advocacy of the students, faculty, staff, and alumni of Parsons,” said Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of Parsons School of Design. “Parsons is grateful to the designers, artists, entrepreneurs, alumni, and distinguished scholars who make up our Board, and for the work they do in supporting the education of the next generation of design leaders.”

In addition to Anna Sui, Bill Brace, and Rafael Smith, Parsons also added Robert Wong, Co-Founder of Google Creative Lab, and Alexandra Moosally, Co-Founder of SAINT New York, to the Board earlier in the academic year. Parsons is currently celebrating its 125th anniversary throughout 2021.

The new Board members are all industry leaders and widely respected in their respective fields. They offer extensive connections to like-minded organizations throughout New York and the world, and have a close connection with Parsons. They officially joined the Board of Governors for its first meeting on April 27, 2021.

Anna Sui

Anna Sui is one of New York’s most beloved and accomplished fashion designers, known for creating contemporary original clothing inspired by spectacular amounts of research into vintage styles and cultural arcana. Sui joined New York’s intensely creative cultural underground in the 1970s, forging important relationships in the worlds of fashion, photography, art, music, and design. Born in Detroit as a first generation Chinese-American, the career of Anna Sui is a classic American success story. "You have to focus on your dreams, even if they go beyond common sense. How could this young girl from the suburbs of Detroit become a success in New York? It was always that dream," she says.

Before the end of her senior high school year, she was accepted to Parsons School of Design in New York. After two years at Parsons, Anna styled with her friend Steven Meisel and designed for several sportswear companies before launching her first collection in 1981. Anna Sui's business continued to grow throughout the 1980s, and in 1991 with the help of her friends Naomi Campbell and Linda Evangelista she premiered her first runway show.   

Anna Sui received the CFDA Lifetime Achievement Award in 2009 and an honorary doctorate in fine arts from The New School in 2017.

Bill Brace

Bill Brace joined Signet in September of 2018 and has overall P&L responsibility for Jared, including merchandising, marketing, e-commerce, planning and allocation. Leveraging his extensive brand strategy capabilities and experience, Bill also leads the growth and development of Signet’s high-margin warranty and repair business and the innovation program to create a complete suite of services that improve the jewelry ownership experience and lifetime value of our customers. 

Prior to Signet, Bill served nearly 30 years at Procter & Gamble, Co., where he held a wide range of executive leadership responsibilities, primarily in Beauty.  There, he created enduring growth successes on several billion-dollar brands on a global scale via consumer-centric strategies, innovation and powerful marketing campaigns. 

Bill holds a Master’s in Business Administration from the University of Iowa and a Bachelor of Science in Electrical Engineering from Montana State University. 

Rafael Smith

Rafa Smith is a Creative Lead and UX Designer on Google’s Doodle and Delight  Features team – a collective of artists, designers, and engineers that aim to create  magical moments across Google products that inspire and connect us all. 

Prior to joining Google, Rafa was a Design Director at IDEO.org where he designed  products, services, and systems that address issues in communities affected by poverty  and systemic inequity. His primary role was leading design teams through the process  of human-centered design – a creative approach to problem solving that starts with  people and arrives at new solutions tailored to meet their needs. His work at IDEO.org  spanned sectors including financial health and the racial wealth gap, immigration,  reproductive health, and emotional wellbeing. 

Rafa’s area of expertise is in building digital and physical products and his craft sits at  the intersection of interaction design, industrial design, and service design.

Robert Wong

Robert Wong is a proud alumni of Parsons School of Design. He is best known for his work as design chief of Starbucks and co-founder of Google Creative Lab. He has been honored as a Master of Design by Fast Company and one of 50 Most Influential Designers in America. He is an elected member of Alliance Graphique Internationale and board director of The One Club for Creativity. His work has been shown at exhibitions around the world including the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Museum and the Museum of Modern Art (MoMA).

He has been a member of the Parsons Board of Governors since 2020.

Alexandra Moosally

Alexandra Moosally’s career has blended analytical and creative thinking. After some searching, she found a perfect home for this combination in the world of fashion, design and lifestyle. She began her career as a public defender in Manhattan - subsequently advising financial institutions in complex, structured transactions.

Following her desire to express her creative thinking, she launched an eponymous line of fine jewelry that was sold at stores around the world, including Barneys New York and Tomorrowland Tokyo. In her current role as Executive Director of Figue, a seasonless brand of luxurious and bohemian women’s ready-to-wear, handbags, shoes and jewelry, Alexandra oversees the business and creative teams.

Alexandra’s next path is a foray into the world of beauty. She co-founded SAINT NEW YORK, a personal care brand that combines clean-ingredient formulas with bold aesthetics and the energy of streetwear. 

Alexandra resides in Manhattan with her family.

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.

 

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