NEW YORK—Safilo Group and The New School’s Parsons School of Design have announced the launch of their first installment of the Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis Competition which is a partnership of the up-and-coming designers of the next generation.

The competition underscores design and product excellence which reflects Safilo’s purpose as a design inspired and brand led eyewear manufacturer with product at the core of the company’s 2020 strategic plan.

“The Safilo x Parsons Design Thesis Competition builds not only on the value that Safilo places on eyewear and the company’s ongoing commitment to preserve eyewear craftsmanship, but also on Safilo’s commitment to educate younger generations by passing down the art of eyewear as the company has done with its Safilo Product School which was inaugurated in 2015 as an apprenticeship program,” the company said in a statement.

Through the partnership, Safilo and Parsons will provide six thesis-level BFA students with the opportunity to design eyewear as a pivotal component of their final thesis work and see their prototyped designs come to fruition through the oversight of Safilo designers and Parson’s School of Fashion faculty.

The students were chosen from a pool of senior candidates who submitted their designs through Parsons and went through a screening process that was coordinated by Alessandro Marcer, vice president, creative director of Safilo USA who also heads the company’s New York design studio and Vladimiro Baldin, chief design product officer of Safilo Group.

The six finalists are: Samantha Sutton, Ji Hyun Myung, Olivia LeBlanc, Eun Byul Kim, Myung Eun Cha and Seh Yoon Lee, and Marcer will coach the students throughout the process. Each student will work closely with Safilo CAD engineering to perfect the aesthetic, functional and technical elements of their designs and will see their creations brought to life by Safilo atelier.

The technical CAD portion of the competition will take place through early December before proceeding to the prototyping and coloring phases, resulting in final prototypes in March 2017 in time for thesis submissions.

The student finalists will have the opportunity to win a cash prize of $5,000. The winner will be selected by Safilo with the support of a panel of prominent fashion industry players and the winning prototype will be displayed during Parson’s end of year benefit in May.