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Aerin Lauder and Tony Hsieh to Speak at FIT's Graduation Ceremonies on May 24

Cheri Fein, executive director, Public and Media Relations
press@fitnyc.edu or 212.217.4700
Glenda Bailey And Simon Doonan To Receive Presidentís Lifetime Achievement Awards

Two Ceremonies Will Be Held

Aerin Lauder, creative director and chairman of AERIN LLC and style and image director of Estée Lauder, and Tony Hsieh, chief executive officer of Zappos.com, will be the keynote speakers when the Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) holds its commencement exercises on Tuesday, May 24 at the Jacob K. Javits Center, Javits Center North.  To accommodate all of the graduates and their guests, two separate commencement ceremonies will be held.  

"We believe that by structuring commencement in this way, we will be able to put a more personal focus on the students themselves," said FIT President Dr. Joyce F. Brown.  The events will be live streamed at www.fitnyc.edu/commencement.

Dr. Brown will bestow Lifetime Achievement Awards to Glenda Bailey, editor-in-chief of Harperís Bazaar, and Simon Doonan, creative ambassador-at-large for Barneys New York.  The Lifetime Achievement Award is periodically given at the discretion of the president of FIT.  Past recipients include Judith and Gerson Leiber (2010), Ruth Taube (2009), Calvin Klein and Anna Wintour (2003), Oscar de la Renta (2001), and Bill Blass and Peter G. Scotese (1999).  

Lauder will address students from the School of Art and Design and the School of Graduate Studies at 10:30 am, and Doonan will receive his award.  Hsieh will speak to students from the Jay and Patty Baker School of Business and Technology and the School of Liberal Arts at 3:30 pm, and Bailey will receive her award.

Aerin Lauder is creative director and chairman of AERIN LLC, a luxury lifestyle brand that she formed in April 2011. She also serves as style and image director for the Estée Lauder brand. Until April 2011, Lauder was senior vice president, creative director for the Estée Lauder brand. From 2001 to July 2004, she was the brandís vice president of Global Advertising. She previously spent four years as executive director, Creative Marketing, helping to define and enhance the Estée Lauder brand image. Prior to 1997, she was director, Creative Product Development for the Estée Lauder brand. Lauder joined the company in 1992 as a member of the Prescriptives marketing team. She is a member of the Education Committee for the Board of Trustees at the The Metropolitan Museum of Art and is a member of the International Council of the Museum of Modern Art. She is also actively involved in the Neue Gallerie, a museum founded in 2001 dedicated to German and Austrian art from the early 20th century.

Tony Hsieh, chief executive officer of the shoe and apparel website, Zappos.com, is a visionary internet entrepreneur. A graduate of Harvard University, Hsieh founded online company, LinkExchange, when he was 23 years old, selling it not long afterwards to Microsoft for $265 million.  An investment fund that Hsieh formed led him to Zappos.com. Under his leadership, the company has reached more than $1 billion in annual sales.  In 2009, Zappos.com merged with Amazon.com in a deal valued at $1.2 billion.  In his book, Delivering Happiness: A Path to Profits, Passion and Purpose, published in 2010, Hsieh wrote about his personal evolution, the growth of Zappos.com, and his philosophy of establishing a corporate culture rooted in delivering service, having core values, and putting vision above short-term profit.
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