FIT Honors SIMON DOONAN with Lifetime Achievement Award

Over at Barneys, we’re feeling like proud parents today. One of our own—Creative Ambassador Simon Doonan—was awarded with a Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2011 Fashion Institute of Technology (FIT) commencement ceremony, whose guest speaker was Aerin Lauder.

Upon accepting his award (in cap, gown, and one of his signature floral shirts), Mr. Doonan gave the following speech, full of his usual linguistic flourishes and six rules to live by.


This is a huge honor. I believe it is customary, on occasions like this, to dispense a little advice to the graduating students. Brace yourselves, here goes…

1. Don’t try to start a fashion company using your Aunt Mitzi’s pension fund.

2. Make sure you have at least one drag queen in your life.

3. When you spray on perfume, do it the Valentino way: Spray a cloud of cologne into the air and then walk into it. Never “splosh” it directly on your skin.

4. Always leave a tip for the hotel maid: Good karma for you, cash for her.

5. Always keep a jar of pickles in the refrigerator. You never know when Aunt Mitzi (or Snooki) might drop in.

6. Get a job in a store. After a quarter of a century at Barneys, I can tell you that retail has given me an incredible, enriching, stimulating, gorgeous career. There’s never a dull moment. Retail, retail, retail.

Thank you, and have a nice life!

Aerin Lauder, Dr. Joyce Brown and honoree Simon Doonan.

Photos courtesy of the Fashion Institute of Technology