the 73rd annual parsons benefit honors tory burch, lauren santo domingo, darren walker, and kehinde wiley

This year's event will take place on Monday, May 23rd at The Glasshouse in New York City

L-R: Tory Burch, Lauren Santo Domingo, Darren Walker, Kehinde Wiley

New York, April 27, 2022 - The New School will host the 73rd annual Parsons Benefit, honoring visionary figures in fashion, philanthropy, fine arts, and design that embody the university’s commitment to creativity, innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. The evening recognizes Tory Burch, Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer, Tory Burch LLC; Lauren Santo Domingo, Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer, Moda Operandi; Darren Walker, President, Ford Foundation; and Kehinde Wiley, Visual Artist. The Parsons Benefit will take place on Monday, May 23rd, 2022 at The Glasshouse in New York City.

This year’s honorees are being celebrated for their numerous contributions to design, retail, entrepreneurship, the arts, philanthropy, and social justice, as well as their long-standing commitment to supporting and creating opportunities for future generations of artists and designers, and creatives. The honorees are all innovative leaders in their respective industries, and believe in the transformative power of design, a core theme of The New School and Parsons’ mission, vision, and curriculum.

“Parsons is proud to be honoring this entrepreneurial and diverse group of leaders who are all visionaries in their respective industries and fields, and for their deep commitment to the values that guide Parsons in everything we do,” said Rachel Schreiber, Executive Dean of The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “Parsons was founded upon the idea that design, art, and business can change the world, and these exceptional honorees are reimagining the creative and commercial landscape in unique ways that will positively impact a range of disciplines for years to come.”

Parsons, one of the leading art and design schools in the world, hosts the Parsons Benefit each year to present and empower the next generation of fashion designers and to raise instrumental funds for student scholarships. Donors’ generosity through the Benefit supports education that enables students to pursue studies in art, design, liberal arts, music, technology, and social innovation.

“It is an honor to be recognized by Parsons,” said Tory Burch. “This school is synonymous with New York fashion, and its students are our industry’s future. I’m so inspired by their creativity and ingenuity, as well as by the incredible faculty led by Rachel Schreiber and Ben Barry. They’re training the designers of tomorrow — the ones who will push fashion forward and solve its biggest problems.”

“The fresh ideas and excitement the next generation brings to the fashion industry is what keeps the space evolving and moving forward,” said Lauren Santo Domingo. “Parsons is a world-renowned institution that helps young people hone their sartorial sensibilities and ideologies, and Moda Operandi is lucky to count many of our designers and employees among its alumni. It’s an honor to be recognized by an institution that has had such a profound impact both in New York and on fashion and culture globally.”

"I’m honored to receive this award in the company of leaders and artists who I have long admired,” said Darren Walker, president of the Ford Foundation. “At the Ford Foundation, we share Parsons’ drive to champion the work of bold and innovative creatives who are changing the way we see the world.”

“The intersection of art, fashion and design is critical to representation of contemporary culture and has informed my work from the beginning,” said Kehinde Wiley. “I am honored to be recognized by Parsons alongside distinguished peers and friends who all embody this dynamic approach to creating, whether it be visual art or otherwise.”

Tory Burch, Lauren Santo Domingo, Darren Walker, and Kehinde Wiley join an esteemed list of past honorees. From Donna Karan, Jason Wu, and Vera Wang, LVMH to Neiman Marcus, Pharrell and Rihanna to Sarah Jessica Parker, Solange, and Gucci’s Marco Bizzarri, The New School celebrates the creativity and vision of past, present, and future leaders.

Liz Rodbell, Steve Madden Group President, and Gena Smith, Chief Human Resources Officer, LVMH Inc., serve as the Parsons Benefit Co-Chairs. This year’s Parsons Benefit will also include a presentation of student work from programs throughout Parsons.

About the honorees:
Tory Burch

Tory Burch is the Executive Chairman and Chief Creative Officer of Tory Burch LLC, an American lifestyle brand. 

Tory launched the company in 2004 with a boutique on Elizabeth Street in New York City as well as an ecommerce site. The brand has since grown into a global business with boutiques from New York to Paris and Shanghai.

In 2015, she launched Tory Sport, a collection of performance activewear that balances cutting-edge functionality with classic design. 

Social responsibility was built into Tory’s business plan and has been a part of the company from its inception. In 2009, she launched the Tory Burch Foundation to advance women’s empowerment and entrepreneurship in the United States by providing access to capital, education and digital resources, as well as a Fellowship program. To date, over $60M in loans have been distributed to over 3,500 women entrepreneurs through the Foundation’s Capital Program powered by Bank of America.

Tory also serves on several boards including the Society of Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and the Jay H. Baker Retailing Center at the University of Pennsylvania’s Wharton School. In addition, she is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations and of the Founding Advisory Council of the Smithsonian American Women’s History Museum. 

Tory has been recognized with numerous awards and honors, including the CFDA for Accessory Designer of the Year, Forbes’s Most Powerful Women in the World, the Breast Cancer Research Foundation’s Sandra Taub Humanitarian Award and _Glamour’s _Women of the Year. The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute featured one of her designs in its 2021 exhibition, “In America: A Lexicon of Fashion.” Her first book, Tory Burch In Color (Abrams, 2014), was a New York Times Best Seller.

A graduate of the University of Pennsylvania with a degree in art history, Tory lives in New York City with her husband and sons.

Lauren Santo Domingo
Lauren Santo Domingo is the Co-Founder and Chief Brand Officer of Moda Operandi, the only fashion platform inviting consumers to shop from designers’ complete runway collections prior to production.

As a former American Vogue editor, Lauren set out to create a platform that would allow women to shop from complete designer collections – a benefit only offered to editors or stylists at the time. In February 2010, Lauren co-founded Moda Operandi, revolutionizing the fashion industry and the way women shop.

Lauren sits on the Board of Directors for Moda Operandi, and Save Venice Inc., a non-profit dedicated to the conservation of the arts in Venice, Italy. Regarded as one of the most influential women in fashion, Lauren was inducted into Vanity Fair's ‘International Best Dressed List’ in 2012.

Lauren lives in New York City with her husband and their two children.

Darren Walker
Darren Walker is president of the Ford Foundation, a $16 billion international social justice philanthropy. He is a member of the Reimagining New York Commission and co-chair of NYC Census 2020. He chaired the philanthropy committee that brought a resolution to the city of Detroit’s historic bankruptcy. Under his leadership, the Ford Foundation became the first non-profit in US history to issue a $1 billion designated social bond in US capital markets for proceeds to strengthen and stabilize non-profit organizations in the wake of COVID-19.

Before joining Ford, Darren was vice president at Rockefeller Foundation, overseeing global and domestic programs. In the 1990s, he was COO of the Abyssinian Development Corporation, Harlem’s largest community development organization.

Darren co-chairs New York City’s Mayoral Advisory Commission on City Art, Monuments, and Markers, and has served on the Independent Commission on New York City Criminal Justice and Incarceration Reform and the UN International Labour Organization Global Commission on the Future of Work. He co-founded both the US Impact Investing Alliance and the Presidents’ Council on Disability Inclusion in Philanthropy and is a founding member of the Board Diversity Action Alliance. He serves on many boards, including Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts, the National Gallery of Art, Carnegie Hall, the High Line, the Committee to Protect Journalists, and the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History & Culture. In the summer of 2020, he was appointed to the boards of Square and Ralph Lauren. He is a member of the Council on Foreign Relations, the American Academy of Arts and Sciences, the American Philosophical Society and is the recipient of 16 honorary degrees and university awards, including Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal.

Educated exclusively in public schools, Darren was a member of the first Head Start class in 1965 and received BA, BS, and JD degrees from the University of Texas at Austin. He has been included on numerous leadership lists: Time’s annual 100 Most Influential People, Rolling Stone’s 25 People Shaping the Future, Fast Company’s Most Creative People in Business, Ebony’s Power 100, and Out magazine’s Power 50. Most recently, Darren was named Wall Street Journal’s 2020 Philanthropy Innovator.

Kehinde Wiley
Kehinde Wiley (b. 1977, Los Angeles) is a world-renowned visual artist, best known for his vibrant portrayals of contemporary African-American and African-Diasporic individuals that subvert the hierarchies and conventions of European and American portraiture. Working in the mediums of painting, sculpture, and video, Wiley’s portraits challenge and reorient art-historical narratives, awakening complex sociopolitical issues that many would prefer remain muted.  

In 2018 Wiley became the first African-American artist to paint an official U.S. Presidential portrait for the Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery. Former U.S. President Barack Obama selected Wiley for this honor. Wiley is the recipient of the U.S. Department of State’s Medal of Arts, Harvard University’s W.E.B. Du Bois Medal, and France’s distinction of Knight of the Order of Arts and Letters. He holds a BFA from San Francisco Art Institute, an MFA from Yale University, and honorary doctorates from the Rhode Island School of Design and San Francisco Art Institute. He has held solo exhibitions throughout the United States and internationally and his works are included in the collections of over 60 public institutions around the world. Wiley is the Founder and President of Black Rock Senegal. He lives and works in Dakar, Lagos and New York.

Parsons School of Design at The New School is one of the leading institutions for art and design education in the world. Based in New York but active around the world, the school offers undergraduate and graduate programs in the full spectrum of art and design disciplines, as well as online courses, degree and certificate programs. Critical thinking and collaboration are at the heart of a Parsons education. Parsons graduates are leaders in their respective fields, with a shared commitment to creatively and critically addressing the complexities of life in the 21st century.


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The New School
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