Simon Collins: Biography highlights
Designer, educator and creator of beautiful solutions who is passionate about great design.
Full biography of Simon Collins
Simon Collins is a design thinker, speaker, writer, educator, designer and advisor. Following a career as a fashion designer then creative director for some of the world’s leading brands including Nike, Polo and Zegna, he spent seven years as Dean of the School of Fashion at Parsons where he helped turn the quietly respected design school into a global mega-brand that partnered with luxury groups like Kering and LVMH.
High points of his tenure included moving the entire School of Fashion downtown to a newly constructed building, launching the MFA in Fashion Design and Society, and opening the new Parsons Paris.
While at Parsons Collins was named one of the inaugural Global 500 in The Business of Fashion and as one of the 100 Most Creative People in Business by Fast Company Magazine. His Chinese CCTV6 show “Creative Sky,” enjoyed a regular audience of 5 million through its five seasons.
In 2014, he published his book “The School of Fashion,” which detailed the history of 30 notable Parsons alumni, from Donna Karan to Alexander Wang. He also established his live onstage Conversation Series with guests including Victoria Beckham, Francois-Henri Pinault and Giancarlo Giammetti.
In 2015, he stepped down from the role of dean and joined the Parsons Board of Governors. In addition to chairing the Advisory Board for Global trend group WGSN, he established his consultancy, The House of Collins, to advise brands, institutions, fashion weeks and governments around the world. He also joined the Advisory Board of the NYU Stern Luxury MBA.
Collins writes for publications like the Wall Street Journal, Business of Fashion, The Impression, and At Large magazine, and he frequently comments on design in the media, including the New York Times, NBC, CNN and NPR. Collins speaks at many leading global conferences including the Cannes Lions (France), the United Nations (NYC), the Global Fashion Summit (Copenhagen) and the YPO Conference (NYC).
In 2016 Collins launched the Fashion Culture Design Unconference in New York, the first major global platform for actual creative discussion, ideas and problem-solving. FCD has become a global ecosystem of unconferences, salons, podcasts and parties.
In 2017 Collins launched WeDesign.org a global design education platform with a mission to give the world’s best design education to anyone anywhere in the world via live-link video classes with highly respected professors. Teaching kids, young adults and seasoned executives it is currently spreading across China and beyond like a benevolent creative virus.
Simon Collins has spent his career creating beautiful solutions. He is passionate about great design and he travels the world speaking about his adventures.
Watch Simon in action
Department for International Trade
Thank you for your participation in Designing Our Future... You expertly moderated the panel on sustainability in the fashion supply chain. The panel was lively and passionate and as moderator you challenged efforts made by the industry and pushed the panellists to go beyond the 'lines to take'.'
'Thank you so much for your speech. The audience was so engaged and the best response of course were all the nodding heads and laughter - you completely made our conference! From the survey responses that we received, your talk ranked number one... because of the great blend of truth that comes with humour - and the practical advice and simplicity of your talk... Thank you so much for your support to the global fashion industry.'
'Simon Collins was the opening speaker of 2018 and 2019-Copenhagen Fashion Summit, the world's largest event on sustainability in fashion taking place every year in Denmark for an audience of 1300+ global fashion industry leaders, policy makers, and NGO's. The Summit is under the patronage of HRH Crown Princess Mary. Simon sharp points and sophisticated sense of humor made him one of the most memorable speakers of the event. Therefore, we've brought him back two years in a row - and this year in a broader capacity as both cohost and speaker and are excited to work with him again in the future.'