By  on April 30, 2010

The Pratt Institute and Luxe Pack Art of Packaging Award Gala honored the Coty Prestige division of Coty Inc. Tuesday night at Manhattan’s University Club.

About 250 top packaging and fragrance supply executives attended the black-tie fund-raiser, which brought in more than $250,000 for the Marc Rosen Scholarship Fund for Graduate Packaging Design, increasing the total amount of funds raised for the program, which is in its 21st year, to more than $2.9 million.

“Coty probably has a monopoly on celebrity fragrances [and] packaging is an integral part of capturing [one’s] persona,” said Rosen, a premier packaging designer who is a Pratt trustee and alumnus and teaches a course at the institute on cosmetics and fragrance packaging design.

“It’s a tribute to a leader and innovator in packaging design,” said Thomas Schutte, president of Brooklyn’s Pratt Institute.

Catherine Walsh, senior vice president of American Fragrances at Coty Prestige, accepted the award on behalf of Coty. The firm’s chief executive officer, Bernd Beetz, recalled he and Walsh joined the company on the same day in 2001 and he said they decided: “We’re going to make Coty a temple of beauty and creativity.”

Walsh added that Beetz gave her a bit of advice: “innovate or die” — a philosophy that primed Coty to land the award Tuesday. “I’d like to pass along this advice to the [scholarship recipients] tonight,” said Walsh. “Ladies, this is your evening.”

The night was punctuated when the gathering joining together to sing “Happy Birthday” and present a cake — complete with four lit candles — to a surprised Annette Green, president emeritus of the Fragrance Foundation, who turned 86 on Monday.

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