The New School’s Parsons School of Design hosted its 69th Parsons Benefit on Monday night, and we cannot get over how amazing it was. The event aimed to “honor members of the greater design and performance community who exemplify our university’s mission while raising scholarship funds to support students throughout The New School.”
Hosted by CNBC anchor Wilfred Frost, the event honored fashion designer Eileen Fisher, Grammy winner and philanthropist Rihanna, and the Neiman Marcus Group (this award was accepted by president and CEO Karen Katz). Select seniors in the Parsons School of Fashion had a runway show to kick off the event, followed with speeches by the honorees, and an auction to raise scholarship funds.
Rihanna, of course, also surprised us with one more incredible philanthropic effort for members of the fashion community. She and Parsons alumna (and total queen) Donna Karan, who was also in attendance, announced the winners of the Parsons Design Fellowship program. Rihanna’s Clara Lionel Foundation and Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation will partner with Parsons to send these students to Haiti to work with local designers to create merchandise that supports the Clara Lionel work.
While delivering her speech, Rihanna also took the time to stress the importance and power of our youth. She says that we “often tear our youth down when we should be building them up. At the end of the day, our future is in their hands.” This is such an important message to be getting across to the world, because every single one of us really does have what it takes to build a better future. It’s so reassuring to have the support of women like Eileen Fisher, Rihanna, Karen Katz, and Donna Karan as we continue to design more solutions that work for everyone.
[Feature Image by Getty Images]