the 75th annual parsons benefit honors thom browne, bethann hardison, and j.crew's libby wadle

Hosted by Nicole Ari Parker, this year's event will take place on Tuesday, May 21st at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City

Thom Browne, Bethann Hardison, Libby Wadle

NEW YORK, April 23, 2024 — The New School will host the 75th 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 Thom Browne, Founder and Chief Creative Officer of Thom Browne, Bethann Hardison, Fashion Advocate, Documentarian, and Luxury Brand Consultant, and Libby Wadle, CEO, J.Crew Group. Hosted by actor, producer, and entrepreneur Nicole Ari Parker, the Parsons Benefit will take place on Tuesday May 21, 2024 at Cipriani Wall Street in New York City.

This year’s honorees are being recognized 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 the fashion and design industry, and believe in the transformative power of design, a core principle of The New School and Parsons’ mission, vision, and curriculum.

“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.”

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’s an honor to be nominated for the Parsons Table award. Parsons represents the future and the truly individual talent that exists in the world. It’s a privilege to be able to see first-hand the unique stories people are creating on their own terms. I'm excited for what the future of the creative industry has to offer, and to share my stories with the next generation to interpret for themselves and create the next chapter.” - Thom Browne

“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

“It is an absolute pleasure and honor to be recognized by the Parsons community, especially as a leader of a business built on creativity and that counts many team members and partners as alumni. The impact that Parsons has had on shaping the leadership within our industry is monumental. I look forward to continued partnership and to the work we will do together to support the next generation.” - Libby Wadle

Thom Browne, Bethann Hardison, and Libby Wadle join an esteemed list of past honorees. From Donna Karan, Jason Wu, and Vera Wang to LVMH, Olivier Rousteing, and 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, Liz Rodbell, President and CEO, Hudson’s Bay, 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 runway presentation of student work from the BFA Fashion Design program at Parsons.

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 more than 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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Will Wilbur,
The New School

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