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Sheila Johnson, Donna Karan Honored At Parsons 2012 Annual Fashion Benefit (PHOTOS)

Huffington Post  |  By Posted: 05/ 2/2012 9:12 am Updated: 05/ 2/2012 2:57 pm

Donna Karan And Sheila Johnson

Legendary fashion designer Donna Karan and mega mogul Sheila Johnson were honored last night in New York City at Parsons The New School for Design's annual Fashion Benefit.

Johnson and Karan were feted “as women who have risen to the top of their chosen fields and have shaped contemporary culture,” Parsons executive dean Joel Towers told WWD.

While we're well aware of designer Donna Karan's super status as a fashion icon -- she's been one of the world's top designers for over 25 years -- it may come as a surprise that Johnson is also revered for her contributions to the fashion industry.

Sure, Johnson was one of the founding partners of BET, owns three professional sports teams (WNBA’s Washington Mystics, NBA’s Washington Wizards and the NHL’s Washington Capitals), serves as CEO of Salamander Hotels, manages to produce films and happens to be a member of our AOL Huffington Post Media Group family -- serving as Strategic Advisor for Multicultural and African-American Initiatives -- but her heart also belongs to fashion.

As the chair of the Parsons Board of Governors, Johnson dedicates significant time and resources to the school to support their mission of developing the next generation of fashion professionals and business leaders.

And both Johnson and Karan deserve plenty of praise for their impassioned contributions, which is most readily felt through the presence of the Sheila C. Johnson Design Center, the Donna Karan Professorship and the Stephan Weiss Design Strategies Dialogues program.

In addition, at the event Towers announced the establishment of the Donna Karan Fashion Design and Society Scholarship Fund, to provide financial support to students pursuing the MFA in Fashion Design and Society, and also the Sheila C. Johnson Design and Diversity Scholarship Fund, to provide financial support for tuition, housing, and living expenses to exceptionally talented, but under served students who may not otherwise have the opportunity to pursue higher education.

Simply amazing!

Check out the slideshow below for a glimpse at the event, which was hosted by Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs -- the design duo behind Cushnie Et Ochs. And make sure to vote on who you think was best-dressed!

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  • Donna Karan and Sheila Johnson

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Carly Cushnie and Michelle Ochs

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Joel Towers, Sheila Johnson, Kay Unger and David Van Zandt

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Fern Mallis

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Bonnie Morrison

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Steven Kolb

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Chris Benz

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Julie Gilhart

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

  • Reed Krakoff

    PARSONS 2012 Fashion Benefit Honoring DONNA KARAN & SHEILA JOHNSON Chelsea Piers, NYC • May 1, 2012

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