Parsons Honors Reed Krakoff at Annual Fashion Benefit

Reed Krakoff
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Reed Krakoff

“You can’t throw a bread roll in the fashion business without hitting someone from Parsons!” Simon Collins, dean of Parsons’s School of Fashion, said Monday night at the institution’s annual Fashion Benefit at New York City’s Chelsea Piers.

Truly, the benefit (which raised more than $1.5 million for programs and scholarships at Parsons) was crawling with bold-name fashion faces that call the New School their alma mater—Narciso Rodriguez, Peter Som, Jenna Lyons—but the real star of the evening was Reed Krakoff, another alum who was being honored for his work with the school.

“He never tires of giving his time and his energy, and he’s deeply invested in what we do,” said Collins. “We haven’t come across anything he won’t do!” That includes hiring Parsons students (graduating seniors, take note!). “His studio is full of our design students,” the dean said.

“I’ve been involved for over 20 years!” said Krakoff, who was joined at the benefit by his mother, his wife, Delphine, and his daughter, Sophie. “I really enjoy working with students, and I loved my time there.”

Krakoff may have been honored by the school, but true to form, he gave back as well: at the event, Parsons executive dean Joel Towers announced the establishment of the Reed Krakoff for Coach Scholarship, which will benefit fashion design students with an interest in accessory design.

Prabal Gurung
Photo: Patrick McMullan
Prabal Gurung came out to celebrate Parsons and Reed Krakoff.

Harper’s Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey presented Krakoff with his prize, while the benefit’s other order of business—a fashion show by top graduating students—was introduced by Prabal Gurung (another Parsons alum, naturally), who reminisced about his own school days.

“School didn’t feel like school,” he told FashionEtc before the event. “I wanted to do it; I wanted to learn. Everything had such an impact on me.”

The designer, who’s hard at work on his first-ever resort collection, was looking forward to seeing the student collections and speaking to the young designers.

“It’s exciting to be part of this because it makes me remember that time—it makes me remember that hunger,” he said. “I hope what I say has some kind of impact on them!”

Krakoff, who attended the same fashion show put on earlier in the day for the Parsons student body, has only praise for the designs.

“It’s very creative and free and joyful, but at the same time, it’s very understandable,” he said. “It was amazing.”