Pratt Institute celebrated its newest class of legends—Iris Apfel, Kim Hastreiter, and David Yurman—on Thursday night at the Mandarin Oriental Hotel in New York. The school’s annual Legends Gala raises funds for its scholarship programs—this year, over $760,000.
“Our ‘legends’ are very key influential people,” noted Pratt president Thomas F. Schutte, who briefly summarized what constitutes the honor, which is bestowed each year at the event: “An outstanding person in a field, in a medium.”
“I have no idea what legend means,” Yurman admitted during the dinner. “It’s something that comes after. I’m not a legend in my mind. I make jewelry and I love designing… I like to work. I think the thought of a legend is an editorial moment.”
Apfel noted that she was still coming to terms with the honor. “I’ve been trying to explore what it signifies,” said the style icon, wearing a rhinestoned version of her signature large-framed glasses. “I’ve been called all kinds of things, but I’ve never come close to being called a legend. I think the whole thing is very funny. I’m 93 and all of a sudden I’m so hot and cool—I’m doing exactly the same thing I was doing 70 years ago. I haven’t changed at all.”
Hastreiter meanwhile touted the power of New York’s changing creative landscape during her speech. “Creative thinking, folks, is what moves our culture forward, period,” the self-described artist and founder of Paper magazine told the crowd, which included Padma Lakshmi, Duro Olowu, Paul Greenhalgh, and Pratt students and faculty. “I live for this kind of cultural change and charge and turmoil. To me, now is the most exciting time to be doing anything.”