Fiona Dieffenbacher is an Assistant Professor and Director of the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons School of Design with over twenty years of experience spanning both industry and academia. An alumna of the program, she has served as faculty since 2005. Fiona also holds an undergraduate degree in Fashion and Textiles from the University of Ulster in the UK. At Parsons, she was the recipient of a Designer of The Year Award (1993). In 1998, she launched her ready­to-wear label Fiona Walker at Mercedes Benz Fashion Week and sold to select retailers across the U.S and internationally. The collection was featured in WWD, The New York Times, New York Magazine, Harpers Bazaar, Lucky, and Cosmopolitan. 


Prior to being appointed director of the BFA program, Fiona served as the Director of External Partnerships for the School of Fashion, where she oversaw projects with Coach, Louis Vuitton, MCM, Swarovski, LVMH and others, along with establishing strategic academic links with partner schools; London College of Fashion, L’Institut Français de la Mode and Domus Academy, and representing Parsons via the Fashion Colloquia series. She has been asked to speak internationally on the challenges facing design education.  


In her current role, over the past three years Fiona has successfully led the BFA program though the development and implementation of a new curriculum. A proponent of strong research and diverse entry points into the design process, her first publication Fashion Thinking: Creative Approaches to the Design Process (AVA/Fairchild, February 2013) seeks to unmask these varied approaches, enabling designers to better understand their own ways of working.


Fiona’s current research project “Dress and Emotion,” investigating clothing as a means of identity and communication, will be showcased in an upcoming Exhibition at the Arnold and Sheila Aronson Gallery in the Sheila Johnson Design Center at Parsons from February 5th- 29th 2016.


Last Update: December 21, 2015