On Monday night, Von Furstenberg accepted an award in her honor from Shenkar College in Israel at a ceremony here at the Jewish Museum.
“I am very happy to get this award because I am the real Jewish princess,” joked Von Furstenberg.
This year’s New Leadership Dinner, held to raise funds for student scholarships at Shenkar, is meant to bring interest to a younger generation of contributors. This was the organization’s fifth event, and according to Deborah DeFusco, chairwoman of the college’s New Leadership Division, Von Furstenberg was chosen for her appeal to and recognition by people of all ages.
Shenkar, located just outside of Tel Aviv, offers a broad range of majors, but found its roots in providing degrees to students interested in textile and fashion design since 1970.
Meanwhile on Wednesday afternoon, the designer who made the wrap dress famous was on the other side of the table, as a judge for the Fashion Group International’s fifth annual Rising Star Awards.
“It’s the worst thing to be a judge, because you don’t know if you’ve made the right decision,” lamented Von Furstenberg. “[The nominees] were all very good and it was so hard to choose.”
So frustrated with the challenge of choosing among the six nominees, she managed to tear her notes she had prepared for the presentation. The nominees were Carle Dawn Behrle of Behrle, David Cardona of Bowman Cardona, Paul Chan of Chanpaul, Oliver Herold of Oliver Christian Herold, Lloyd Klein of Group Klein Vendome and Aliona Yurtsevich of Company of Unorganized People.
“I’ll just play it natural,” she said, as she quickly jotted some thoughts down.
Margaret Hayes, president of FGI, seemed only slightly amused with the designer’s hemming and hawing. “I want you up on stage — now,” she urged Von Furstenberg, who quickly darted off to present the last category of the event.
In addition to women’s apparel, awards were given to retailer Babak Hakakian of Domus Design Collection, men’s wear designers Rony and Ronald Delice of Ron & Ron, Jennifer Lor Russo and Joel Glickman of Ply Design for accessories, Dani Levy of dailycandy.com for communications, Jenefer Palmer of Osea International Inc. for beauty, and the home interior/design award went to William Sofield of Studio Sofield.