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What #PayInStyle Really Means to Parson’s Fashion & Design Students

Ever thought you’d hear runway and MasterCard in the same sentence? Well, now you just might.

IMG_2619The fashion and technology worlds are colliding faster than ever before. At the intersection of this collision is MasterCard and Parsons School of Design, who recently teamed up to make payment technology fashion-forward.

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This past weekend, the two organizations went avant-garde to kickoff the first-ever MasterCard/Parsons sponsored Fashion and Design Hack in which teams of students competed to develop payment-enabled style.

I know what you’re thinking: what could possibly be vogue about payment-wear? Back in October, fashion designer Adam Selman rocked the industry with the first-ever payment-enabled dress and like that…payment technology became catwalk eye candy.

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Moving forward with Selman’s vision, Parson’s students took on the challenge to create their own payment-enabled designs. Sophomore Daniel Park described the opportunity as “making payments personal.” Shriva Chandrasekhar, a senior at Parson’s said, “Bringing fashion and technology together is a necessity. I worked in technology before and now that I’m studying at Parson’s I know exactly what is missing in fashion that can be solved for with technology.”

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From payment-enabled eyewear to footwear, the competition was fierce. So fierce that our esteemed panel of judges (Adam Selman, Fashion Designer; Barnett Zitron, Managing Director, MADE, a WME I IMG company; Burak Cakmak, Dean, School of Fashion, Parsons; and Sherri Haymond, Senior Vice President, Digital Payments & Labs, MasterCard) couldn’t agree on crowning just one champion. And so, three talented teams were named the winners of the Fashion & Design Hack and each went home with $8,000 in prize money and MasterCard’s commitment to help bring their ideas to market:

  • Team 6, the dynamic trio that believes payment-enabled soles are made for shopping;
  • Team 4, who pushed the limit of human interaction by creating a way to pay with a handshake; and
  • Team 3, who created funky sunglasses with embedded payment capabilities

“Instead of technology further distancing us from human interaction we want to use the chip to encourage real-time connections,” said Team 4 member Stephanie Hazlewood. Technology that facilities a genuine consumer experience? Now that’s paying in style!