SJP, Andy Cohen, Donna Karan, Arianna Huffington Celebrate Parsons

by Sydney Sadick

Last night, Maybelline New York presented the 68th annual Parsons Benefit at Pier Sixty in New York City, which brought out fashion’s finest to celebrate the school’s next generation of talents. The event, which is a collaboration between Parsons School of Design and the College of Performing Arts, honored Beth Rudin DeWoody, Arianna Huffington, Donna Karan, and Sarah Jessica Parker (who stunned in Valentino beside husband Matthew Broderick), all of whom were recognized for their influence in fashion, art, performance, and media, as well as the work they’ve done to promote positive social change. The eve was hosted by SJP’s pal Andy Cohen, who although looked adorable, kind of missed the black-tie memo. “This is Watch What Happens when someone doesn’t know this is a black tie,” Cohen joked as approaching the red carpet in a mint green suit.”We’re honoring four amazing women and Parsons is a landmark institution in New York City. Sarah Jessica is my ride or die friend. Anytime she gets honored, I’m happy being there to support her.” And Andy, so are we.

NEW YORK, NY - MAY 23: Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker attend the 2016 Parsons Benefit at Chelsea Piers on May 23, 2016 in New York City. (Photo by Rabbani and Solimene Photography/Getty Images for Parsons School of Design/The New School)

NEW YORK, NY – MAY 23: Andy Cohen and Sarah Jessica Parker

Also on the red carpet were a slew of fashion designers and industry names, like Parsons alum Chris BenzJennifer FisherWes Gordon, Mazdack and Zanna Rassi (she rocked her new rose-gold hair in a Preen by Thorton Bregazzi ensemble), June Ambrose, Isabella Huffington, Michelle Ochs, and Paul Andrew. “I’ve been coming to this event for many years. Of course Donna [Karan] is being awarded tonight and I’ve worked with her for many years,” said the shoe designer. “It’s great to come out and support the new talent. I’ve actually hired my entire design team from Parsons,” Andrew added.

Post photo-ops, attendees made their way inside to a sit-down dinner. A spread of tapas-style appetizers were at each table, followed by branzino and an assortment of mini desserts. Huffington was presented an award by daughter Isabella, while SJP was brought onstage by friend Lars Nordensten to the beat of her famous Sex and the City theme song.

“I’m very honored to share this evening with Ms. DeWoody, Ms. Huffington, and my friend Donna Karan, all of whom are remarkable and inspiring women. Their contributions to art, culture, and politics have enriched our lives. That is a fact. I’m certain I speak for many when I thank them for their leadership and commitments,” the actress said. “And I thank dearest Lars for being here. He has been for many, many years now the gift that keeps on giving. He is a supreme tailor. For many in the world of fashion, he is a secret weapon…it is because of what my friends have shared and contributed to my life that allows you all to consider me to be worthy of this generous offer and in doing so we have the opportunity to honor all of them and thank them.”

After dinner, guests participated in a live auction. The lineup included a four-day retreat at Casa de Camp Resort in the Dominican Republic, a handmade book titled The Golden Horses, a two-bedroom beach villa at Parrot Cay by Como in Turks and Caicos, an escape to Marrakesh with Royal Air Maroc and La Mamouni,a and a personal shopping trip with SJP at Bloomingdale’s in New York City, which went to three lucky attendees for $10K each.

The evening ended with a runway show of select collections by graduating Parsons students: Alejandra Burette, Angela Luna, Molly Kirchoff, Margo Isadora Schneider, Aven Helford, Conrad Sun, Ya Jun Lin, Natasha Alia, Song Seoyoon, Tiffany Huang, Ezra Xia, Kailua Guan, Ace Seongmin Kim, Jaya Luo, Sarah Kate Belcher, Jennifer Kangmin Lee, Wei Hung Chen, Zuoyu Shi, Xingyuan Xu, Yun Xie, Shweta Lakhani, Song Ryoo, Moon Choi, Nicola Romagnoli, Ming Peng, JZ, Shi Chang, Annie Li, Han Wen, and Jackson WiederhoeftAngela Luna and Wiederhoeft won the womenswear designer of the year award, and Peng won menswear designer of the year.

The event helped raise funds to support scholarships to The New School for students who would otherwise be unable to attend the university.

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