Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show

A Million Dollar Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show Extravaganza



Who would have guessed that a student fashion show could be as imaginative, fun and exhilarating as the elite-label runway parades in the world’s fashion capitols?

The answer: Probably anyone who’s ever attended an Otis College of Art and Design “Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show.” (Check back later for pictures of the fashion show.)

For those of us attending for the first time, the May 4 affair – which raised more than $1 million for scholarships – was quite the revelation. Yet judging from the list of mentors for the students, it should have come as no surprise. They included Billabong, Mary Jo Bruno, Marisol Gerona for Disney, Venus Williams’ Eleven, Halston with the Humane Society, Betsy Heimann with Western Costume, Bob Mackie, Claire Pettibone, Cynthia Vincent, Heather Brown for Urban Outfitters and Christopher Wicks.

Fashion creativity abounded offstage among party-goers as well. Lu Parker of the KTLA Morning News sported one earring made of feathers on a long chain. Mandy Einstein chose a generously ruffled, student-designed ensemble purchased at an Otis show.

Held at the Beverly Hilton Hotel, the affair honored Kirk Nix of KNA Design with the Creative Vision Award. The inaugural Style Icon Award went to Sally Perrin, creative director of the luxury leather goods company, Perrin Paris.

The night also spotlighted the Otis Sustainability Alliance, which promotes environmental, social, educational and economic responsibility in reusing and re-purposing materials to create products that “do no harm” to the world.

As guests settled down to dinner, gala chair Shelley Reid spoke of “the fabulously talented” Nix, calling him “the leading force in some of the world’s most celebrated luxury hotels.” Regarding Perrin’s award, Reid summed up the intangible concept of style. “You know it when you see it,” she said.

Taking his turn at the podium Bob Mackie elaborated further. “To me, the word style has to have the world personal preceding it,” he said. “Personal style has no age, no social status and can exist anywhere in life.”

In addition to the award, the style highlight, of course, was the fashion show. “Wait until you see the extravaganza,” Mackie had said. “It’s amazing.”

(Click here to read Los Angeles Times fashion critic Booth Moore’s story about the style award and the Otis fashion show.)

Rosemary Brantley, founding chair of Otis Fashion Design, presided over the show, which was, as Mackie correctly stated – an extravaganza – and wonderfully entertaining, inspired by such diverse concepts as Disney’s “Monsters University,” faux fur, sustainable swimwear, country weddings, 1960s music, tennis wear, 1930s art deco jewels and a trio of classic films.

With Elaine Goldsmith as founding chair, the gala committee consisted of Aaina Agarwal, Libby Applebaum Harrison, Kendra Bollenbach, Christine Chiu, Diane Conn, Kate Coppola, NJ Goldston, Lena Hermansson, Deborah Lynn Irmas, Lisa Janian, Pat Kandel, Kadi Lee, Cathy Louchheim, Carolyn Mahboubi, Lisa Maroney, Laura Maslon, Amé Austin Max, Kristi McKnight, David McNeary, Katherine Neifeld, Cynthia Occelli, Pamela Page, Jennifer Perry, Angela Rich, Gary Sommerstein and Claudia Teran.

Among others in the crowd were Quiksilver CEO Bob McKnight, Hurley CEO Bob Hurley, Nike V.P. Roger Wyett, architect Fred Fisher, Jeff Snyder and Cameron Silver of “Decades,” and Nicolas Bijan Pakzad. 


Top photo: Jeweled fashions by Bob Mackie-mentored students at the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show (photo: Nathan Gulick, courtesy of Otis College of Art and Design)

Second photo: Honoree Kirk Nix, recipient of the Creative Vision Award with Gala chair Shelley Reid at the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show (photo: David Crotty for ©Patrick McMullan, courtesy of the Otis College of Art and Design)

Third photo: Sally Perrin, recipient of the Style Icon Award, at the Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show (photo: David Crotty for ©Patrick McMullan, courtesy of the Otis College of Art and Design)

Fourth photo: Lu Parker of KTLA Morning News, among the fashionable guests, wore one earring made from feathers on a long chain. (photo: SocietyNewsLA.com)

Fifth photo: Joseph McFate, left, and Bob Mackie, who called the Otis fashion show an amazing extravanganza (photo: David Crotty/ ©Patrick McMullan, courtesy of the Otis College of Art and Design)



Elton John, Taio Cruz and the Osbournes Take the Race to Erase MS to Next Level

Chelsea Handler, Bruno Mars, Kylie Minogue, Carolina Herrera, Rita Wilson and Kate Capshaw Create an Unforgettable Evening

Highlights of the May Los Angeles Social Calendar: Elton John, Taio Cruz, Bruno Mars, Downton Abbey, Holly Robinson Peete, Jason Alexander, Toni Braxton, Bob Saget, Billy Crystal and More

Otis Scholarship Benefit and Fashion Show

Published May 6, 2013; Updated May 7, 2013 – Ellen Olivier, Society News LA