High fashion house Balenciaga is worn by celebs from Beyoncé to Oprah. The founder and Creative Director, Demna Gvasalia, received the Creative Spirit Award at the 2019 Celebration of the Creative Spirit. This is the scholarship benefit gala for Pratt Institute, a private university in New York City. The annual gala raises funds for Black Alummi of Pratt for scholarships and stipends and utilizes the evening to acknowledge the importance of the arts and the influence of the arts in our culture. Gvasalia was not able to attend the event which was held at the Park Hyatt New York, he did show up big for Black students.
Balenciaga will now be offering two full-time, four year scholarships through the Black Alumni of Pratt. According to WWD, Balenciaga is predicted to reach 1 billion in euro sales, so it’s great to see that they are giving back to underrepresented communities in the arts and fashion.
The Black Alumni of Pratt was established in 1990 by a group of alumni to serve as a means of financial support, mentorship, and more. Since their founding, they have raised more than 5 million dollars to help support the careers and education of talented Black and Brown students.
In addition to Gvasalia, honorees included Alexander Smalls, Harlem chef and restaurateur, who also won the Creative Spirit Award. Artist Frank Stella received the Lifetime of Artistic Excellence Award as well as DeMonty Price, president and chief operating, service and values officer at RH, who won the Creative Spirit Corporate.
Model and activist Bethann Hardison, in addition to Brian Hastings, Carla Hall, David N. Dinkins, and Douglass Baxter were all honorary chairs for the event.
Interested in a career in the arts? Find more information on the Pratt Institute, here.