By  on October 6, 2008

Elizabeth Hurley helped light up Bloomingdale’s 59th Street Thursday evening, flipping an oversize light switch to turn on pink spotlights, which illuminated the store’s exterior.

The actress and Estée Lauder spokesmodel was joined during the personal appearance by Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale’s; Leonard Lauder, chairman of the Estée Lauder Cos. Inc. and cartoonist Marisa Acocella Marchetto on the Lexington Avenue side of the store.

The event was held to mark National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and a crowd estimated at more than 500 people spread to both sides of Lexington Avenue. With the lighting, a first for the store, Bloomingdale’s became one of some 200 structures being illuminated by Lauder’s Breast Cancer Awareness Campaign.

“I love it when October comes around every year because that’s the month we get to go around the world to tell women that breast cancer is 98 percent curable if it’s detected early,” said Hurley.

“That’s the closest thing we have to a cure,” Marchetto, a breast cancer survivor who wrote a best-selling graphic novel called “Cancer Vixen,” said of early detection. “And we’re not going to stop [awareness efforts] until we have a world of pink, a world without breast cancer,” added Marchetto, who is working on her third graphic novel, due out next year.

Hurley and Marchetto later signed beauty products from Lauder’s Pink Ribbon collection, a line whose sales are expected to generate $500,000 for the Breast Cancer Research Foundation. The two also autographed pink umbrellas and tote bags that were illustrated by Marchetto and are available at Bloomingdale’s. Since its inception in 1993, the BCRF, which was founded by Lauder’s senior corporate vice president Evelyn H. Lauder, has raised $220 million for breast cancer research and awareness through June. She noted that during the year ended in June, the foundation raised $39.6 million.

“The purpose of the lightings is really to raise publicity for awareness and remind women 40 years old and older that they should be having mammograms and [conducting] self examinations,” said Lauder.

On Friday, Hurley took an outing to Saks Fifth Avenue in Short Hills, N.J., where she appeared along with designer Jay Strongwater to mark the launch of Lauder’s Pink Reflections Duet, a $150 lipstick and Strongwater-designed mirror compact. The pair of items — a Saks exclusive — represents one of 15 Lauder brands showing off pink ribbons this season. Lauder noted the BCRF is one of the charities benefited by events like Saks’ Key to the Cure women’s cancer campaign, for which Karl Lagerfeld designed a T-shirt and Gwyneth Paltrow is spokeswoman. There’s also a BCRF charity dinner later this month and sales of a Michael Kors tote bag; Karen Neuberger pajamas; a Lacoste tote, shorts and belt, and Ugg boots will also benefit the organization.

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