La La Anthony can describe her friend Solange’s style in one simple phrase: “She doesn’t give a f*ck.” Anthony arrived at Pier Sixty in New York City Monday night to see Solange honored at the 70th Parsons Benefit in New York City—an accolade she knew her stylistically brave friend deserved.
“She does what she wants to do, and a lot of people aren’t brave enough to do that,” Anthony said in a conversation before the dinner began. “It works for her pretty much every single time.”
Solange, who wowed at the Met Gala earlier this month with her own take on the Catholic-inspired look and drugstore makeup, has never been one to follow the pack. During her speech, Solange thanked the women in her life—including her mother, Tina Lawson, and her sisters, for “nurturing [her] interests and passions” and never once questioning her cowgirl Harajuku girl, goth, and “fake-ass hippie” phases.
She shared a story of when she first realized that she shouldn’t bend to others’ expectations. She visited New York City at 10 years old and bought capri pants in three different colors; she loved them, but the kids at school had a different opinion.
“I went back to Houston, Texas straight feelin’ myself, walkin’ into school with a little shoulder lean, head held high. And them hatin’-ass kids dragged me from one hallway to the next. They asked if it was floodin’ because my pants were so high-water. And I learned then and there that I had to figure out a way in life to maintain and preserve my sense of pride when I felt good about what I did or what I represented or created.”
Vince Staples, who presented Solange with her award, told Vanity Fair that that was the Solange he knows: someone who looks for ways to deviate from the rules and encourages her friends to do the same.
“She’s an enabler,” he said. “This is a very stressful occupation. Sometimes you feel like certain things could be handled differently, and she reassures you that you know what you’re doing and it enables you to continue on to your path.”
Along with Solange, Parsons honored Gucci President and C.E.O. Marco Bizzarri and Farfetch founder and C.E.O. José Neves. The school raised $2.26 million at the benefit, following a live auction, where Solange bid $27,000 and won a date with Dapper Dan.