Caroline Kennedy made an appearance alongside her son John “Jack” Schlossberg on Friday’s Today, to discuss the annual John F. Kennedy Profile in Courage Award — which will be handed out this weekend to former President Barack Obama.
“I had to convince everyone else,” she explained when asked if the head-turning design — which she teamed with a sensible pair of black shoes — took convincing.
While it was the first time Kennedy had attended the gala since 2001, the 59-year-old former U.S. Ambassador to Japan and daughter of President John F. Kennedy and Jacqueline Kennedy Onassis outshone dozens of other fashionistas on the red carpet with her bold fashion choice.
The voluminous patterned piece was perfect for the evening’s theme – a tribute to Comme des Garçons Japanese designer Rei Kawakubo. In fact, Kawakubu herself designed the gown.
“[Kawakubo] is actually also somebody who is willing to go against the popular grain and do what she thought it right and courageous,” Kennedy said. “So I think we can look for great individuals with the courage to do what they think is right.”
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So what compelled Kennedy to agree to serve as one of the honorary chairs at this year’s event?
That would be Kawakubo, of course.
The two met the while Kennedy was serving as the former U.S. Ambassador to Japan, from November 2013 to January 2017 — meeting and becoming friends during Kennedy’s stay in Tokyo. Kennedy was the first woman to serve in the position.
At an exclusive press preview before the event, Kennedy commended her friend.
“There is something about the uncompromising originality of her work, the commitment to excellence, the attention to detail, and the closeness of her team that embodies the sensibility of Japan,” Kennedy said, the Hollywood Reporter reported. “In today’s world, where we each need to figure out what we believe in, and how to stand for something, this exhibition has a lot to teach us.”