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Alumni Night

New York Designers Turn Out for Parsons' Annual Benefit

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Donna Karan and Sheila C. Johnson   
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"For those of you who don't know how to pronounce our slogan, it goes like this: You. Never. Leave. Parsons," Simon Collins, the dean of the School of Fashion, told the crowd at Pier 60 last night.

Collins' words turned out to be the theme of the school's annual benefit, with plenty of alums returning for the event, including guest speaker Narciso Rodriguez, Chris Benz, Ashleigh Verrier, and the evening's honoree, Donna Karan. (Sheila C. Johnson was also honored.) "I didn't graduate Parsons, actually," said Karan, as she accepted her award. "I also failed draping, which I'm sure all of you know." Turns out, she wasn't the only one who struggled during her time at the university: "Some of our designers, when they were at school, like Narciso Rodriguez and Lisa Mayock, they weren't very popular; people didn't actually like their work," revealed Collins.

The benefit's student show certainly turned a few heads. Checking out Menswear Designer of the Year Christy Jeehyun Lee's hefty coats and oversize briefcases, Number:Lab designer Luis Fernandez said, "I need to find some of these kids, but I bet they don't come at intern prices anymore."

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