Pratt’s 5th Annual Design Symposium ‘ReInvents Luxury’ At Whitney Museum
On Wednesday, November 17th, Pratt Institute was pleased to host the Pratt 2021 Design Symposium: Reinventing Luxury, held at the Whitney Museum of American Art. Conceived by the award-winning fragrance packaging designer, Marc Rosen, the annual symposium brings together the brightest minds from the fields of design, fashion, and architecture to address big topics about the future of design. The event was held as part of this year’s edition of NYCxDESIGN’s internationally renowned Annual Design Festival showcase (November 11-18, 2021), and was made possible through the Marc Rosen Education Fund, with additional funding by the Terian Foundation.
Moderated by Rosen, this year’s symposium explored how to reinvent luxury for a new generation of consumers who seek brands that place emphasis on diversity, accessibility, inclusion, sustainability, environmental responsibility, and experiential design. The evening began with series of presentations from an esteemed panel of industry experts assembled by Rosen, including: Chris Bangle, the maverick car designer and former American Chief of Design for BMW Group; Kevin Marshall, Microsoft’s Creative Director of Global Packaging and Content; Christopher Olshan, CEO and CMO of The Luxury Marketing Council, and founder of its Millennial division; and Eleonora Paulsen, President of Gruppo Italia, a consortium of Italian factories producing furnishings and millwork for customized projects within the luxury arena.
Rosen was joined by event co-host and Pratt Institute President Frances Bronet; event co-sponsor, architect, Pratt alumna, and President & CEO of Rallye Motor Company, Juliana Curran Terian; and an audience of Pratt faculty, students, alumni, and supporters, including Interior designer and society hostess Susan Gutfreund; art collector Judith Hernstadt; Anita Cooney, Dean of Pratt Institute’s School of Design; Mike Pratt, Vice Chair of Pratt’s Board of Trustees, and President of The Scherman Foundation; and a variety of industry leaders, such as Caroline Dahlgren, Tiffany & Co.’s Global Director of Consumer Insights; Jeffrey C. LeFrancois, the Meatpacking District’s Executive Director; Piers Fawkes, Founder and President of trends analysis site, PSFK; Doreen Bucher, Symrise’s VP of Global Marketing, Fine Fragrance; Julianne Pruett, Symrise’s VP of Fine Fragrance Sales, North America; Miranda Gordon, MANE’s VP of Fine Fragrance; Gale Hayman, beauty icon and co-founder of the Giorgio Beverly Hills boutique; Théo E. Spilka, Global Vice President, Strategic Licensing & Business Development at Firmenich; and editors George Ledes and Christine Schott.
President Frances Bronet commented, “We are thrilled to welcome the Pratt community back to our fifth Design Symposium. This Symposium enables us to touch upon timely themes that are important to Pratt. Convening today’s best designers and entrepreneurs—as well as our students, who will share that position tomorrow—inspires us to consider how the extraordinary objects and experiences we make and value can be understood, and perform to be more accessible, sustainable, and socially responsible.”
“Following nearly two turbulent years hallmarked by change, a younger generation of consumers have reevaluated personal conceptions of ‘luxury’ and ‘necessity,’ seeking brands that place emphasis on diversity, inclusion, sustainability, environmental responsibility, and experiential consumption,” said Rosen. “Many associate luxury with high-priced items: private planes and yachts, expensive cars, mega-mansions and diamond jewelry, but as society’s inner compass changes, and consumers become more aware of the true implications of their choices, will such a definition stand the test of time? As the luxury industry embraces a generational shift marked by social empowerment, so too must it expand the very definition of luxury itself.”
Best known in his capacity as a designer of luxury fragrance packs for big brand names like Karl Lagerfeld, Halston, Fendi, Elizabeth Arden, and Estee Lauder, Rosen is also an alumnus and Trustee Emeritus of Pratt, where he teaches the world’s only course on cosmetics and fragrance packaging design. Rosen is not only dedicated to supporting future generations of designers through teaching, but also through philanthropy, having founded the Marc Rosen Scholarship Fund for Packaging by Design at Pratt, which provides two full-tuition scholarships annually to master’s degree-level students looking to pursue careers in cosmetics and packaging design.
Following the panel, guests were invited to attend the Art of Packaging Cocktail Reception, where Rosen was joined by President Frances Bronet to announce the creation of a new scholarship, and present this year’s Art of Packaging Student Merit Awards to six emerging designers at Pratt for their excellence in packaging design. This year’s recipients were Nicholas Fenn, Lauren Gabor, Monika-Sofia Glowacka, Mohamed Laban, Silvia Lambarri Mestres, and Li Wei “Tino” Pan. At the reception, guests had a unique opportunity to view the graduate students’ award-winning portfolios and get a firsthand look at how the next generation of designers is already reinventing luxury.
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