TOP BANANA: Simon Kneen, creative director and executive vice president, design at Banana Republic, will be awarded an honorary degree from Kingston University in London on April 8. A Kingston University grad, Kneen is being recognized for his 30-year commitment and success in the fashion and design industry. “I am really humbled to be extended this honor by Kingston University in the company of such accomplished award winners,” said Kneen. “I have been so fortunate to find a career that is my inherent passion, and to be awarded for it is truly an honor.”
Prior to assuming his most recent post at Banana Republic, Kneen was creative design director for the Retail Brand Alliance, where he set the creative vision for the Brooks Brothers and Adrienne Vittadini brands, and earlier was creative director for Maska and before that head designer, prêt-à-porter, for Maison Balmain.
On this side of the pond, Carson Kressley will give the commencement speech at Philadelphia University on May 11. He will also be awarded an honorary degree, Doctor of Humane Letters, at the 129th commencement. Known for his role in “Queer Eye for the Straight Guy,” Kressley has also appeared on “How to Look Good Naked,” and ABC’s “True Beauty,” as well as his current show on the Oprah Winfrey Network, “Carson Nation.”