Are Kylie Jenner and Travis Scott back together? That was the question whispered throughout Tuesday night’s benefit for the New School’s Parsons School of Design—alumni of which include Isaac Mizrahi, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, and Donna Karan—on a rooftop along Manhattan’s East River. The pair, of course, brought company: Their precocious three-year-old daughter Stormi Webster, who had such a presence she managed to make more Kardashian-Jenner headlines than Kimye’s daughter North West on her eighth birthday.
Tuesday night stood out in Scott and Jenner’s four-year-long history as their first joint red carpet together since their October 2019 breakup. What’s more, an evening honoring Parsons supporters is quite the change of scenery from their usual hangs at places like theme parks and Scott’s gas station-themed birthday party. Scott did not attend Parsons himself, but recently launched the nonprofit Jack Cactus Foundation, which provides scholarships to the HBCU Prairie View A&M University and a new Parsons program based in Houston—a reflection of his longtime interest in design.
Webster spent the night looking chic but comfortable in a little black dress, blue Nikes and space buns, while Scott went with a classic black Bottega Veneta suit. Jenner, who’s in town for just 24 hours, predictably wore a family favorite: vintage Jean Paul Gaultier. As one Twitter user noted, the mesh-sleeved bodycon dress from 1987 is a full decade older than the Keeping Up With the Kardashians star herself. (She topped off the look with a pair of Cinderella-esque translucent heels.) The duo also took a moment sans Stormi for a pose that they undoubtedly knew would cause reunion rumors to skyrocket, and momentarily embraced.
On the red carpet, though, Scott and Jenner didn’t even hold hands. Jenner instead let the former pose with Webster before joining them, at which point Webster made faces and generally goofed off. There was a bit of a reason why Jenner, at least, seemed so comfortable and camera-ready: Before the family stepped onto the red carpet, staffers insisted that press turn on their camera flashes.
Pyer Moss designer Kerby Jean-Raymond and the artist Carrie Mae Weems also received awards from Parsons on Tuesday night. The former is about to become the first Black American designer to show at Paris Haute Couture Week, as Kering’s Laurent Claquin noted while paying homage to the monumental Pyer Moss show at King’s Theatre in Flatbush, Brooklyn. Weems, a hugely influential artist who supports her alma mater CalArts, was the first of the trio to give a speech, focusing on her recent travels across the U.S. to take photographs. They included a trip to Minneapolis, Minnesota, specifically where the cop Derek Chauvin murdered George Floyd. The site almost immediately became a memorial, now known as George Floyd Square, which Weems saw law enforcement occupy in real time. (Jean-Raymond has also wielded his influence to address the pandemic, as one of the first in fashion to roll out donations.)
While Weems’s practice primarily centers around race, politics, and power dynamics—most notably in her seminal Kitchen Table series—Weems has spent the bulk of the past year and a half focusing on the pandemic, and specifically how it’s disproportionately harmed those who are working-class and non-white. Her Resist COVID / Take 6! public art campaign has expanded from sites in New York City like the Parsons campus to 25 cities across the U.S. over the past year. The series is ongoing; after all, thousands across the U.S. and Covid-19 hotbeds like India are still dying each day.
At the same time on Tuesday, New York City was celebrating Andrew Cuomo’s announcement that 70 percent of New Yorkers have been vaccinated—enough for the mayor to lift most pandemic-related restrictions. Some had already been put into place, per CDC guidelines: Just a few at the outdoor event, which required proof of vaccination or a recent negative Covid-19 test, wore face masks (which they still made sure to have on hand). Weems in particular couldn’t help but rejoice at what was her first major event since last March.
The artist was hardly alone in doing so. The same went for fellow honorees Jeff Gennette of Macy’s, Inc. Angela Ahrendts of Apple (and formally Burberry), and designer Gabriela Hearst. Cynthia Erivo, Lena Waithe, and Parsons alum Donna Karan also hit the scene. The former—a red-carpet pro—went with a burnt orange dress by Jonathan Simkhai, while Waithe, who’s been all over the Tribeca Film Festival circuit, opted for a patterned button-down from Moschino’s collaboration with Palace.