Bethann Hardison Announced As 2024 Parsons Benefit Honoree

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The New School will honor fashion titan Bethann Hardison at its 75th annual Parsons Benefit at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City. On May 21, the event will also honor Thom Browne, founder and chief creative officer of Thom Browne and J. Crew’s Group CEO Libby Wadle. The host of the prestigious evening is slated to be actress Nicole Ari Parker.

The Parsons Benefit is hosted each year to highlight and empower the next generation of fashion designers in addition to raising “instrumental funds for student scholarships,” according to a press release. This year’s honorees are visionary figures within the fashion and design industry–they are also pivotal voices who have made countless contributions to design, retail, philanthropy, and social justice. Through their work, they’ve also exuded a long-standing commitment to “supporting and creating opportunities for future generations of artists, designers and creatives.”

“Every year, Parsons honors the visionary leaders who are transforming the fashion and design industry, and this year is no exception, as we celebrate a diverse group of honorees who are committed to the same values that guides Parsons in all that we do,” said Yvonne Watson, Interim Executive Dean of The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “Parsons was founded upon the idea that great design can positively change the world, and these innovative honorees are a testament to that bold idea, where their impact has helped reshape the creative and commercial landscape in subtle and profound ways that have helped inspire a new generation of design thinkers and leaders.”

Past honorees include Pharrell, Sarah Jessica Parker, Donna Karan, Rihanna, and many more innovators within the fashion industry.

Hardison is known by many as a trailblazing former model-turned-agent and later activist whose efforts have shaped how the industry views race. Her focus on diversity over the years has alotted her opportunities to create necessary conversations surrounding the inequities within fashion. She has previously won the CFDA Founder’s Award in 2014, started the Black Girl’s Coalition in 1988, and famously participated in the historic Battle of Versailles in 1973.

“Though I never attended Parsons School of Design academically, I have had Parsons as an added backdrop in my growth and discovery. Delighted to be honored and recognized, as it’s a full circle experience,” Bethann Hardison shared in a statement.

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