Gucci’s president and chief executive officer and Farfetch’s founder and ceo will be saluted not only for their leadership and innovation, but also for their commitment to sustainability. The executives join the ranks of such other previous honorees as Tommy Hilfiger, Donna Karan, LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton, Macy’s, Rihanna and Sarah Jessica Parker.
In commending Bizzarri and Neves for “fostering innovative and inclusive design,” Joel Towers, executive dean of Parsons School of Design, said, “Parsons was founded upon the idea that design can change the world, and our honorees are creating positive change that will impact the industry for years to come.”
Bizzarri, who joined the Kering Group in 2005, took over the helm at Gucci in 2015. With the creative direction of Alessandro Michele, he has seen the label’s sales launch skyward. The Italian house’s sales last year rose beyond 6 billion euros. Bizzarri has racked up all sorts of awards for the Italian label’s turnaround in recent years, including the British Fashion Council’s Business Leader of the Year award in 2016 and 2017, the 2017 WWD CEO/Creative Leadership award and France’s highest honor — the Legion of Honor — in December.
Neves has also made great strides since launching Farfetch in 2008. While the original plan was to create one portal that gave independent stores the chance to compete with leading e-tailers, the company is a platform for the luxury industry, connecting shoppers in more than 190 countries with more than 700 retail and brand resources from more than 40 countries. His experience includes launching the footwear business Swear, the fashion licensing and wholesale company Six London and B-Store.
Last month, Chanel announced it had taken a minority stake in Farfetch to demonstrate its commitment to what both companies described as an exclusive global multiyear innovation partnership. And there have been reports that the luxury e-tailer is mulling a New York initial public offering and angling for a $5 billion valuation.
This year’s gala benefit chair will be Julie Gilhart, with help from co-chair Susan Rockefeller. The fashion-heavy benefit committee includes Imran Amed, Richard Baker, Natalie Massenet, Camillo Pane, François-Henri Pinault and Anna Wintour. Graduating Parsons fashion design students will show their finery on the runway during the gala and students from the College of Performing Arts will offer their own performances.