January 21, 2019

YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund Awards

What an honor to receive this year’s YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s Lifetime Achievement Award.

Earlier this month, I was given the award at the YMA Fashion Scholarship Fund’s 82nd Annual Awards Gala. The FSF is a non-profit organization dedicated to promoting education and career placement in the fashion arts and business. Fellow honorees included Hal Lawton, Macy’s President, who received the “Retailer of the Year” award, and television celebrity, Ryan Seacrest, who received the “Style Icon of the Year” award. 1500 alumni, industry executives, designer and other business luminaries were in attendance - it was a wonderful event for all.

Here are some excerpts from my speech: 

"I often wonder what my life would be like minus the really good stuff I've learned - first in the excellent Nutley, New Jersey public school system, and then at Barnard College, where we were taught that education is a continuing reconstruction of experience and that the process and the goal of education are one and the same."

"I was a curious learner - I read many books a week and was rewarded by my parents, but only if I also accomplished all of my chores - gardening, sewing, and ironing my dad's linen dress shirts... My interest in anything and everything home oriented developed - and I read about design and decoration and developed good taste in all things domestic."

"I ran a catering business, published my first book, "Entertaining", finding a niche that needed filling and providing my audience with facts and ideas and recipes I knew they wanted and needed - why? Because I was that woman - I needed what I was offering... It was at the urging of one of our newest partners, QVC, that I embarked onto our newest category of design - fashion. And again I applied my democratic approach to this unique form of design - clothes have to be well-made, they have to fit, they have to serve a purpose, they have to feel good and they have to last - no throwaway fashion for me. And above all, they have to be beautiful... Never stop learning, never give up being educated, never stop reading, looking and trying."

Enjoy these photos.