Daniel Strassburger- Sr. Director of Marketing, Ralph Lauren; Fashion Marketing: Class of 2004

Studying Fashion
Upon finishing my undergraduate degree in Communications, I felt my education was too general and needed specialization. Studying Fashion Marketing at Parsons gave me the focus I needed to set out on a successful career- pairing my education with my personal passion. Studying Fashion challenged me to apply my knowledge in a more creative way. I always refer to my time at Parsons as Fashion Boot Camp. Coming from the Midwest, Parsons provided a deep dive into everything I needed to know to become part of the Fashion Industry in New York.

First Job after Parsons
The Parsons’ Career Services team helped me secure a Public Relations internship at Donna Karan. An internship is a valuable experience, and I embraced the opportunity with everything I had, eager to show them what I was made of. It must have worked, because 6 months later they called me in to interview for a position with their Marketing team. From there, the company was very generous in offering me challenges and opportunities to grow. I started out as a Marketing Assistant, providing general departmental support. This soon led to assignments heading up Wholesale Marketing strategy, and later my first foray into Digital Marketing where I re-launched two e-commerce websites, an iPhone App, and established a social media presence for the brand.

Most Exciting Opportunity Now
Digital Marketing and Social Media. My career began about 3 years before the launch of the first iPhone, when Facebook was still exclusive to college students with “.edu” e-mail addresses. As a marketer, you’re missing the boat if you don’t incorporate a digital component into every single initiative or strategy, and Fashion certainly has it biggest opportunity by exploring the digital world.

Digital engagement with the audience is the latest Fashion must-have. Look at Ralph Lauren’s 4D light show, Burberry’s live streaming runway shows from Fashion Week, QR codes on Barneys’ window displays, Nike ID customization programs. It’s no longer a one-way conversation, but rather a dialogue where next season’s trends might start as the result of Tavi Gevinson’s latest blog post.

Most Influential Class
The diverse curriculum as a whole shaped my experience at Parsons. Color theory and sketching croquis one minute, or developing a marketing strategy to support the launch on an inventive consumer product the next. If I had to pick one standout, it would be my Design Business class. Design Business was the most successful in bringing together students cross-discipline, and successfully challenging everyone’s way of thinking as a result. The class challenges students to conceive a product, or the next fashion “it” item, while building a complete business plan- from mission statement to marketing strategy, packaging design, to a 3-year sales forecast. Design Business was the best opportunity to pull together everything I learned while studying at Parsons, and apply it to a single marketable concept.