Rebeccah Pailes-Friedman, a Pratt alumna and fashion design executive with over 15 years of experience, has been named acting chair of the Institute’s Fashion Design Department. Pailes-Friedman, who has taught in Pratt’s fashion and industrial design departments since 1998, will begin her appointment July 1, 2009. She replaces Rosie DePasquale, who is stepping down after serving as chair of the Fashion Design Department since 2000 to work on the launch of her yoga accessories and clothing line. DePasquale will return in the spring 2010 semester as a full-time professor.

Pailes-Friedman received a bachelor of fine arts degree in fashion and a master’s degree in industrial design degree from Pratt. She has served as adjunct professor of fashion design and industrial design and has taught a senior thesis course in fashion design as well as a course in creating industrial design prototypes.

As acting chair, Pailes-Friedman will be responsible for leading Pratt’s Fashion Design Department, which is home to the first fashion program in the United States and part of the Institute’s School of Art and Design. The department, which is one of 15 degree programs in Pratt’s School of Art and Design, is the most popular among undergraduate applicants to Pratt.

“We are pleased to welcome Rebeccah as acting chair of fashion design,” said Pratt School of Art and Design Dean Frank Lind. “Her exemplary leadership experience in the field will help continue to distinguish Pratt’s fashion design department as one of the foremost in the country.”

Among Pailes-Friedman’s most significant accomplishments was serving as design director for Nike, where she headed design and development of the Starter brand. She also has served as design director for Champion Athletic Apparel; Fila USA; Liz Claiborne, Inc.; and C-9 by Champion, a line developed exclusively for Target.