"Diane von Furstenberg is a true American fashion icon and Howard Socol has led Barneys to enormous success," New School president Bob Kerrey said. "We strive to prepare our students to be both designers and entrepreneurs, so it is fitting that we honor two people who embody this balance of creativity and business savvy."
Von Furstenberg and Socol join a list of fashion luminaries who have received the honor. They include Donna Karan, Oscar de la Renta, Marc Jacobs, Macy's Inc. vice chair Susan D. Kronick, Tommy Hilfiger, former Liz Claiborne Inc. chairman and ceo Paul Charron and Jones Apparel Group chairman Sidney Kimmel.
"I am grateful to be recognized by Parsons, a school that sets the bar for fashion design education," said von Furstenberg, president of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. "The CFDA has long recognized the promise of Parsons students and recent alumni through our scholarship and award programs, and these designers have gone on to make important contributions to the world of fashion."
Socol added, "Since launching Proenza Schouler's line in 2002, Barneys has been committed to promoting and nurturing Parsons talent. I'm grateful for the recognition, and I look forward to seeing what this next class of designers can do."
The event, scheduled for the Grand Hyatt New York on April 28, raises funds for Parsons' scholarship and academic programs.
In addition to honoring von Furstenberg and Socol, Parsons will showcase the work of graduating students with a special fashion show of some of the top collections, crowned by the announcement of the school's Designer of the Year award. Saks Fifth Avenue will display an assortment of pieces from the offerings in the windows of its New York flagship starting May 14.