Erin Cho is the Inaugural Executive Dean and Professor of the School of Fashion and Textiles at Hong Kong Polytechnic University. SFT had existed under its engineering school for over 65 years. As of Fall 2022, the university spun it out and established it as an independent school to exploit the growing demands and new opportunities in fashion. She expressed:
“Fashion is now ever-expanding and at a critical juncture reimagining its domain boundaries with rapidly developing technology, material sciences, sustainability, and missions for humanity. I am honored and humbled by the opportunity to work with the world's renowned faculty with amazing research and entrepreneurial projects. I will endeavour to further its strong standing in technology and science, while bolstering the curricula and research capacities in design and business to prepare students to build and lead a more comprehensive and holistic ecosystem of society.”
Dean Cho received her BA and MA degrees from Seoul National University in Korea. She finished her Ph.D. degree at the University of Wisconsin-Madison in the United States. She has over 25 years of experience in academia across different institutions. In particular, Dean Cho possesses extensive management experience. Before joining PolyU, she was a tenured full professor of design strategies at the Parsons School of Design (Parsons) at The New School, New York, where she progressed steadily into a leadership position over the past years. She was appointed Faculty Director of Parsons Executive Education and Partnerships in 2013, moved up to Executive Director of Executive Education in 2017, and assumed her role as Dean of the School for Undergraduate Studies at The New School in 2020. She was the first Asian Dean in over 100 years of the university’s history.
She is also a highly regarded scholar whose research is situated in the intersections between design, management, and technology in the areas of fashion, branding, e-commerce platform and digital innovation, design strategies, and entrepreneurship. She has built a prolific research profile alongside an extensive record of corporate consulting and engagement. Many noted academic and industry associations had invited Professor Cho to deliver keynote addresses including Adobe Max, the Digital Leaders’ Forum, Tsinghua University Executive Education Alumni Conference, Fashion Executive Talks in Seoul, the Sensory and Neuromarketing Conference, the Design and Management Society, etc. Professor Cho's work has been widely adopted by companies in organizing innovation teams and projects, and she has given numerous executive seminars and training to numerous global corporations. She served as an advisor for notable incubators and venture funding boards, such as National Retail Federation, XRC lab, Impact Entrepreneurship, E-lab, Emotional Engineering Lab, etc.
Dean Cho says -- “With digital platforms, AI, and other communication technologies, the world is becoming ever more connected and expansive, and Asia is leading the way. HK is one of the global capitals of creativity, technology, and commerce. The art, media, and entertainment industries are enormous. Shenzhen, Seoul, Tokyo, and other high-tech capitals with great entrepreneurial activities are nearby. I look forward to pursuing synergies and possibilities the city’s setup could offer in the effort to further sustainable, inclusive, just, and human-centered education to breed and nurture the next generation of global leaders.”
To know more about Dean Cho and her visions for the school, please click her recent interview with Fashionista, the global publishing company with more than 2.5 million monthly viewership: “THE WOMAN ON A MISSION”