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Speakers and Honorary Degree Recipients

Leslie Blodgett, executive chairman of Bare Escentuals, Inc., will speak to the Schools of Business and Technology and Liberal Arts at the morning ceremony which begins at 10:30 a.m. 

Davin Stowell, founder and CEO of Smart Design, will address the Schools of Art and Design and Graduate Studies and Carolina Herrera, designer and founder of Carolina Herrera, will be awarded an honorary degree at the afternoon ceremony, which begins at 3:30 p.m. 

Leslie Blodgett

Leslie Blodgett, executive chairman of Bare Escentuals, Inc., graduated from FIT’s cosmetics and fragrance marketing program in 1985.  By 1994, she was CEO of Bare Escentuals, transforming it into one of the country’s leading prestige cosmetics companies with the launch of bareMinerals, an award-winning line of mineral-based products.  Her entrepreneurial zeal led her to QVC which turned bareMinerals into the network’s top-selling brand and Ms. Blodgett into a household name.  Under her leadership, and in one of the largest cosmetics takeovers on record, the firm was acquired by Shiseido in 2010 for $1.8 billion—on the condition that the popular Ms. Blodgett agree to remain as its “public face.” 

 

Davin Stowell

 

Davin Stowell is the founder and CEO of Smart Design, a leading global multidisciplinary design firm that has revolutionized hundreds of everyday products from potato peelers and measuring cups to camcorders and automobile instrument panels. With the OXO Good Grips line he created in 1989, he introduced the concept of Universal Design in household products—several of which are in the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art.  Honored in 2010 by the White House as a recipient of the National Design Award for product design, his OXO line alone has won more than two dozen awards.   His client list includes such giants as Johnson & Johnson, Hewlett-Packard, World Kitchen, Yahoo and Ford. 

 

Carolina Herrera

 

 

Carolina Herrera, the fashion designer known for her elegance, exquisite taste and sensibility, developed her internationally acclaimed line as a second chapter in her life.  At the age of 40—already a fixture on the International Best-Dressed list—she opened her first design atelier and showroom on Seventh Avenue.  Today, her global label is consistently one of the most prosperous in the industry and includes bridal wear, fragrances, menswear, handbags and shoes. Mrs. Herrera has volunteered her time at FIT, serving as mentor and critic for fashion design majors and serves as a goodwill ambassador for the fashion industry’s international campaign against malnutrition. 

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