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Parsons School of Design honours Donna Karan

FashionBy Sunday World
Parsons School of Design honours Donna Karan

Donna Karan has been honoured by Parsons School of Design for her contribution to the fashion industry.

The designer was a guest of honour at the 68th Annual Parsons Benefit on Monday night (23May16), and took to the stage to thank her alma mater.

In addition to praising the students and professors who mentored her during her school years, Karan reminded the crowd that she's been ahead of the trends for decades. "After (Women's Wear Daily) killed me on the cold shoulder many years ago, it has finally hit the fashion trend," she deadpanned, in reference to her infamous dresses with gaping shoulder cut-outs from the early '90s.

The 67-year-old style maven also revealed that she failed her draping class as a student and had to retake it during summer school.

"So, I'm a little obsessed with showing Parsons that they taught me how to drape," she smiled.

Karan, who is known for her jersey dresses and mix-and-match pieces, also recalled how when she started out in the business, she was determined to talk directly with the consumer.

She said that she had "a vision" that the fashion calendar should be sped up, perhaps hinting that she is an advocate for the see-now-buy-now debate which is currently rocking the fashion business.

Karan, who has now stepped back from her signature company to focus on philanthropic pursuits, also talked about Urban Zen, the luxury brand and foundation she launched in 2007 to "dress and address people." She and Parsons partnered on a study centre in Haiti where students can interact with the local Urban Zen artisans.

Karan was one of four women to be celebrated at the event, with art collector Beth Rudin DeWoody, author Arianna Huffington and actress Sarah Jessica Parker also given awards, before the graduating seniors presented their work.

In addition to thanking Parsons in her speech, Sarah, who wore a sheer studded Valentino dress to the gala, also donated her time to the evening's auction, where three people paid $10,000 (£6,850) each to spend a day shopping with her at department store Bloomingdales.

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