Last night, John Demsey opened the doors to his stunning East Side townhouse for a cocktail party and intimate conversation with Karlie Kloss, Brandon Maxwell, and Peter Arnold for the Fashion Scholarship Fund. The FSF is a nonprofit organization dedicated to promoting education and career placement in the fashion arts and business.
“When I hard about this event, I knew I wanted to be involved,” Kloss told guests like Derek Lam, Alina Cho, and Bibhu Mohapatra. “Not only because I love our industry. I love fashion and I’m really passionate about supporting the next generation of designers, but I’m also really passionate about education… Supporting education is an issue that is near and dear to my heart. I’m in awe of the amazing work of the Fashion Scholarship Fund.”
Seasoned fashion exec and former CFDA executive director Arnold joined the 80-year-old organization last November as executive director. “We’ve been giving scholarships to students from all over the country and securing summer internships for them, giving them a mentor, helping them secure a full-time position. Helping them secure permanent positions, giving them professional development opportunities,” he said. “In the last five years, we have given over $6 million to 1,000 students from our 60 partner schools — the expected design schools, but also public colleges and universities in far-flung places where there is creative talent who do not know how to get into our industry. We work to make sure that people who are creative and talented, who are under represented in our industry, are helped forward. That is a personal and an organizational commitment that we feel very strongly about.”
The talk also stressed the importance of the industry paving the road for the next generation. “What we’re doing is important and there are many young people in the world who want to do the same thing as you that do not have the opportunity,” Maxwell said. “Fashion has the power to transform how you feel. A young woman can wake up, put on lipstick, brush her hair, put on a dress and see something in herself that she did not otherwise see 30 minutes before… What we do is not vapid, it’s not on the surface. It is important.”
The evening concluded with Demsey giving props to Kloss and Maxwell for using their platform beyond their day jobs as supermodel and star designer. “The two of you are really a young and positive voice in the culture to the generation rising up,” he said. “What you do for education and what you do behind just doing beautiful things and doing beautiful content and being fabulous day in and day out. These are two really unique individuals that prove that working hard and being smart and paying your dues pays off. They’re a great aspiration for all industries.” Truth!