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Michelle Obama to Host National Design Award Winners

This year's fashion award winner Behnaz Sarafpour will be on hand.

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FIRST IN LINE: First Lady Michelle Obama has cleared her schedule long enough to welcome this year’s winners of the Cooper-Hewitt National Design Awards to the White House for a luncheon Friday. Fashion award winner Behnaz Sarafpour will be making the trip to the Beltway, as will Isabel and Ruben Toledo, who served on the jury. There will be no shortage of New York-based winners at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue — James Wines for Lifetime Achievement, Michael Sorkin for Design Mind and Pentagram’s Paula Scher for Communications Design just to name a few.

After giving students the lowdown on fashion during the Target-sponsored Teen Design Fair Friday morning, Tim Gunn will join the adults for the First Lady’s lunch. The Toledos will also pitch in with the students to help them figure out what discipline might be a good fit for them. Twelve of the up-and-comers will get to visit the White House with the more-established designers and meet Obama, whom Ruben Toledo described as “an amazing ambassador for the importance of education, the culture of design and the cultivation of creativity. It takes a village to design the future and it all starts here with these students — they will help to invent our future,” he said.

This story first appeared in the September 19, 2013 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

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