Posted Thursday, October 29, 2009

Marc Jacobs, David Rockwell, and Patti Smith to be Honored at Legends 2009

Pratt Institute will present Legends 2009, a scholarship benefit honoring fashion designer Marc Jacobs; architect and designer David Rockwell; and performer, poet, and visual artist Patti Smith on Thursday, October 29, 2009 at 7 World Trade Center, 250 Greenwich Street in Manhattan. The event begins with a cocktail reception at 6 p.m. followed by a dinner and awards ceremony and special performance by Patti Smith. Tickets are required for entry.

Jacobs will be introduced and presented his award by model and photographer Helena Christensen; Rockwell will be introduced and presented his award by architect Richard Meier; and Smith will be introduced and presented her award by photographer Edward Mapplethorpe, brother of Pratt alumnus and artist Robert Mapplethorpe and son of Pratt alumnus Harry Mapplethorpe.

Legends 2009 will be hosted by Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte and Board of Trustees Chair Mike Pratt. Trustees Kurt Andersen and Amy Cappellazzo, and Pratt friend Marjorie Kuhn are serving as co-chairs of the event.

The Legends Awards were conceived in 1999 by the Board of Trustees to celebrate distinguished individuals and corporations in the world of art and design, whose accomplishments and values resonate with those of Pratt. The event's mission is to raise funds to provide financial aid to Pratt students based on need and merit. Eighty percent of Pratt's students require financial aid to pursue their educations. Every dollar raised through Legends strengthens the student body by increasing the scholarship endowment, which allows the most qualified students an opportunity to attend one of the world's foremost schools of art, design, and architecture, regardless of their financial background.

"These three together represent some of the areas in which Pratt is most known for worldwide," said Pratt President Thomas F. Schutte. "Pratt is privileged to welcome such luminaries in fashion, architecture, design, and the visual and performing arts as 2009 Legends," he added.

Marc Jacobs, one of the most recognizable names in fashion for his edgy, eclectic designs, is currently creative director for the French fashion house Louis Vuitton, where he has worked since 1997. He has collaborated with artists Takashi Murakami (a 2008 Legends honoree) and Richard Prince, fashion designer Stephen Sprouse, and Grammy Award-winning musician Kanye West to elevate street style to high fashion, creating work that has been shown and marketed in fine arts museums as well as in boutiques. Jacobs has multiple Council of Fashion Designers of America (CDFA) awards to his credit, including the 2009 CFDA International Award for Louis Vuitton.

Jacobs designed his first collection with the Marc Jacobs label in 1986 and debuted his secondary line, Marc by Marc Jacobs, in 2001. Jacobs's licensing and design company with business partner Robert Duffy currently includes ready-to-wear, men's and women's wear, shoe, fragrance, swimwear, and accessory collections, which are available in more than 100 stores worldwide. Jacobs and Duffy have been involved with more than 60 charities in the communities surrounding these stores, and their ongoing support continues to be a top priority.

David Rockwell is principal and founder of Rockwell Group, an award-winning, cross-disciplinary architecture and design practice based in New York City, with satellite offices in Madrid and Dubai. The formative influences of the theater and the colorful spectacles of Mexico reverberate strongly throughout his practice as his firm focuses on a diverse array of projects that range from hotels to hospitals, restaurants to airport terminals, and Broadway set designs to consumer products. Projects include The Kodak Theatre, Los Angeles; interior work and brand conceptualization for the JetBlue terminal at John F. Kennedy International Airport, New York; Nobu restaurants worldwide; and set design for the Broadway musicals Hairspray and Legally Blonde.

Rockwell serves as chairman of the board of the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS and is a member of the Cooper Hewitt National Design Museum's committee on exhibitions. The recipient of numerous honors, including the Presidential Design Award for his work for the Grand Central Terminal renovation, Rockwell also has authored two books, Pleasure: The Architecture and Design of Rockwell Group (Universe, 2002) and Spectacle (with Bruce Mau), which examines the history and public fascination with larger-than-life manmade events (Phaidon Press, 2006).

Patti Smith is an iconic performer, poet, and visual artist who was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2007. Her extensive recording catalog includes the seminal 1975 album Horses (Arista, 2005); trampin' (Columbia, 2004); Peace and Noise (BMG, 1997); and Dream of Life (Arista, 1996). Smith also has given readings of her published poetry and exhibited her artwork at major museums worldwide. She is the author of Witt, Babel, Wool Gathering, The Coral Sea, and Complete, a catalog of lyrics, photographs, illustrations, original artwork, and reflections. In a volume of poetry, titled Auguries of Innocence (Ecco, 2005), Smith joins in that great tradition of troubadours, journeymen, wordsmiths, and artists who respond to the world around them in fresh and original language.

Smith is currently finishing a book on her growth as an artist and her friendship with Robert Mapplethorpe, whom she teamed up with when he was a student at Pratt; titled "Just Kids: From Brooklyn to the Chelsea Hotel," the book will be published in early 2010. Aside from recording, performing, art, and writing, Smith is strongly involved in social issues and continues to participate in various human rights organizations.

Past Legends Award recipients include Ralph Appelbaum, Dale Chihuly, Christo and Jeanne-Claude, Barbaralee Diamonstein-Spielvogel, Michele Oka Doner, Al Hirschfeld, Helmut Jahn, Kenneth Lane, Naomi Leff, Peter Marino, Richard Meier, Takashi Murakami, Beverly Pepper, Stanford Richards, James Rosenquist, Julian Schnabel,Victor Skrebneski, Barbara Tober, Pauline Trigere, Emanuel Ungaro, Bruce Weber, Robert Wilson, and Eva Zeisel. Past Corporate Legends include Lawrence Herbert, Pantone, Inc.; Joseph Pacifico, CulinArt, Inc.; and Philip Morris.

To purchase tickets, please contact Pratt Director of Special Events Michael Hambouz at 718.399.4486 or by email at mhambouz@pratt.edu. Members of the press who are interested in covering the event may contact Mara McGinnis at 718.636.3471 or mara.mcginnis@pratt.edu.