The 74th Annual Parsons Benefit Honors Neiman Marcus Group’s Geoffroy Von Raemdonck, Naomi Campbell, and Balmain’s Olivier Rousteing

This year's event will take place on Wednesday, May 24th at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City

LtR: Geoffroy Von Raemdonck, Naomi Campbell, and Olivier Rousteing

New York, March 27, 2023—The New School will host the 74th annual Parsons Benefit, honoring visionary figures in fashion, business, design, and philanthropy that embody the university’s commitment to creativity, innovation, sustainability, and inclusivity. The evening recognizes Geoffroy Von Raemdonck, CEO, Neiman Marcus Group, Naomi Campbell, Supermodel and Cultural Innovator, and Olivier Rousteing, Creative Director of Balmain. The Parsons Benefit will take place on Wednesday, May 24th, 2023 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

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

“Parsons is proud to be honoring this bold, innovative, and diverse group of industry leaders who have profoundly inspired our students, and for their long-standing commitment to the values that guide Parsons in everything we do,” said Yvonne Watson, Interim Executive Dean of The New School’s Parsons School of Design. “A Parsons education trains designers to address pressing social issues through the power of design, art, and business, 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.

“Parsons has a legacy of producing breakthrough leaders in the field of fashion. I’m honored being in their company with this highly esteemed recognition. As a relationship business, Neiman Marcus Group deeply respects the alumni and current students, including many of our associates and brand partners who launched their careers at Parsons. I look forward to continued collaboration across our iconic organizations.” - Geoffroy Von Raemdonck

"I am honored to be recognized by Parsons for my contributions to the fashion industry and for my philanthropic work that has raised money and awareness for causes so close to my heart. Throughout my career I have worn the designs of many Parsons graduates, and I'm so proud to receive this award from an institution celebrated for their bold and innovative approach to fashion." - Naomi Campbell

“Like everyone working in fashion, I’m very aware that Parsons takes very seriously its commitment to educate the creative leaders of today and tomorrow about the possibilities of melding great design with progressive advancements. And, as a Frenchman, I learned long ago about The New School’s connection with the École Libre des Hautes Études, the university in exile that was set up for Free France’s greatest thinkers during World War II. Knowing that inspiring history, how could I not feel incredibly honored to be recognized by Parsons and The New School for my decade of work at Balmain and my life-long commitment to working for true change in our industry?” Olivier Rousteing

Geoffroy Von Raemdonck, Naomi Campbell, and Olivier Rousteing join an esteemed list of past honorees. From Donna Karan, Jason Wu, and Vera Wang, LVMH to Kehinde Wiley, Pharrell and Rihanna to Sarah Jessica Parker, Tory Burch, and Gucci’s Marco Bizzarri, The New School celebrates the creativity and vision of past, present, and future leaders.

Wes Gordon, Creative Director of Carolina Herrera, Alexandra Moosally, Co-Founder, Saint New York Partners, 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
Geoffroy Von Raemdonck

As a visionary retail transformation expert, Geoffroy van Raemdonck is enabling thoughtful and performance-driven business decisions at NMG, encouraging and fostering innovative thinking, and leading a strategy of integrated luxury retail across stores, e-Commerce, and remote selling. Geoffroy was appointed as Chief Executive Officer of Neiman Marcus Group (NMG) in February 2018. During his tenure, he has turned the business trajectory positive, built a leadership team committed to digital excellence, and enhanced NMG’s unique ability to serve customers at the highest levels to drive new, global growth. He has woven in Environmental, Social, and Governance (ESG) standards throughout the organization and fostered an inclusive culture powered by the concept of Belonging. Early in his role at NMG, Geoffroy oversaw the management of MyTheresa, doubling its revenues which led to its successful initial public offering. In 2020, he led the company through a successful restructuring and debt-reduction plan, enabling investments in the company’s digitally-enabled future.​

Geoffroy has built a career driving performance improvements and digital growth platforms at several prominent luxury brands in Europe and the United States and is deeply passionate about the art and beauty of luxury fashion. Prior to NMG, Geoffroy served in leadership roles at Ralph Lauren and Louis Vuitton and was Chief Executive Officer of St. John Knits. Earlier in his career, he advised consumer and brand-driven companies at The Boston Consulting Group in the New York, Chicago, Paris, and Brussels offices and served in senior roles of increasing responsibility at L Brands.​

A native of Brussels, Geoffroy graduated summa cum laude from the Université Catholique de Louvain in Belgium with a master’s in business and sciences. He later obtained an MBA from the University of Chicago in 1998. ​

He currently resides in Dallas, TX with his husband and two children. He serves on the board of the Dallas Symphony Association and American Composers Orchestra Boards as well as a member of the Fact Company Impact Council. 

Naomi Campbell
International Supermodel, UN Commonwealth Ambassador, and Philanthropist Naomi Campbell was born in London, England and discovered as a fashion model at age 15. As the first Black model to grace the cover of both British and French Vogue, she's since fronted covers for over 1000 magazines, been featured in campaigns for celebrated houses including Burberry, Prada, Dolce & Gabbana, Marc Jacobs, and Louis Vuitton, and walked iconic shows for Chanel, Azzedine Alaia, Christian Dior, and Versace. Beyond her work in the fashion & entertainment industries, Campbell has used her influence for an array of fundraising and non-profit initiatives across the globe. Environmentalism, as well as Human Rights and Global Health, as it specifically pertains to women and children, have been critical sectors of Campbell’s work. In 2005, she formed her non-profit Fashion For Relief, a charitable organization that has raised funds for various environmental and humanitarian causes. In 2022, Naomi launched her global initiative EMERGE, a business development platform that focuses on discovering, presenting, and promoting creative talent from emerging communities to cultivate the next generation of industry creatives and innovative leaders. Through this global network that connects new talent to business mentors and educates within the creative industries, Campbell is undoubtedly solidifying her place as a cultural innovator- using her incredible platform and success for positive change across industries around the world.

Olivier Rousteing
For over a decade, Olivier Rousteing has been the Creative Director of the house of Balmain. During those ten years, Rousteing has been carefully building upon the legacy of the house’s founder, Pierre Balmain, who famously introduced a fresh, feminine and surprising “New French Style” to post-war couture. Beginning with inspirations directly pulled from the house’s rich archives and fully utilizing the Balmain atelier’s impressive mastery of intricate traditional couture techniques, Rousteing has been able to skillfully graft his own distinctive style upon the historic house. He is, in fact, creating a modern and inclusive new New French Style—one which melds together an immediately recognizable singular silhouette, a contemporary outlook reflecting Rousteing’s own extraordinary personal journey and a spirit pulled directly from the avenues and boulevards of a transformed-yet-eternal Paris, the dynamic and diverse fashion capital that has influenced every Balmain collection for over 75 years.

Early Years, Education and Italy
Born in 1985, Rousteing was adopted from a French orphanage at a young age and raised in Bordeaux. He studied fashion at Paris’ Ecole Supérieure des Arts et Techniques de la Mode (ESMOD). At 18, he moved to Italy, where he worked at Roberto Cavalli for five years, beginning as an intern and rising swiftly and steadily through the ranks to the position of Designer for the men’s and women’s ready-to- wear collections. When the opportunity arose for him to return to Paris to work at Balmain, Rousteing seized it, forming a part of the house’s design team for two years before being named Creative Director in 2011.

Far From Typical
When Olivier Rousteing, then 25, was selected to head Balmain’s design team in 2011, he became one of the youngest talents ever named to lead an historic Parisian fashion house. Rousteing is very conscious of his unique background and position—as well as the exciting opportunities for change that this moment presents. “I'm definitely not the typical Creative Director of a major Parisian house,” he explains. “And, as an outsider who somehow made it into a position of power, I am determined to use this occasion to shake things up a little and push for needed changes. There’s a rapidly changing world that’s just outside our design studios—and I am constantly inspired by the new powerful state of mind and beautiful diversity of today's streets. That’s why I will always push for honesty, direct communication, true inclusion and democratization within fashion. I’m determined that my collections will always reflect how today’s generation wishes to live and dress. I also can’t stop weaving in influences from all types of music into my designs—because that’s how we grew up. For us, music and fashion are seamlessly joined together, and It’s impossible to separate one of those arts from the other.”

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.

Founded in 1919, The New School was established to advance academic freedom, tolerance, and experimentation. A century later, The New School remains at the forefront of innovation in higher education, inspiring approximately 10,000 undergraduate and graduate students to challenge the status quo in design and the social sciences, liberal arts, management, the arts, and media. The university welcomes thousands of adult learners annually for continuing education courses and public programs that encourage open discourse and social engagement. Through our online learning portals, research institutes, and international partnerships, The New School maintains a global presence.




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The New School
Will Wilbur
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