Rihanna’s impact on the fashion world is indisputable. Now the singer has revealed that she will further strengthen her ties to the 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.
Sales of the product will help support the Grammy winner’s Clara Lionel Foundation, which was founded in 2012 to benefit impoverished communities worldwide in areas like health care and education.
Select students of the art and design school will have the opportunity this summer to work with local Haitian artists at the Design, Organization, Training Center in Port-au-Prince. Karan, Parsons and designer Paula Coles founded the center as a creative meeting place offering vocational training and materials to the Haitian artist community.
“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,” explained Alison Mears, director of the Healthy Materials Lab at Parsons who was instrumental in launching D.O.T.
On May 22, Rihanna will be honored at the Parsons Benefit in New York City and will reveal the winners of the Design Fellowship program, which sends three Parsons students to Haiti for six to eight weeks beginning in early June.