There was an absence of the usual honorees and the crowd appeared a bit sparse, but the recent March of Dimes Beauty Ball, held at Cipriani 42nd Street, was not without celebrity presence.
Organizers had decided that the best way to celebrate the organization’s 75th anniversary was to scrap the traditional honoree format and have a dance party instead — with plenty of music pounding through the sound system from the turntables of DJ Cassidy.
There were more than 300 people at the March 12 event, compared with last year’s 350 to 375 attendees, and a large number of them ended up on the dance floor, leaving the dinner tables empty by 8:45 p.m.
An auction conducted by CK Swett of Phillips de Pury and sponsored by March of Dimes’ “partners” — Coty, Givaudan, Avon Products, Shiseido, L’Oréal USA, Condé Nast and International Flavors & Fragrances — augmented the fund-raising.
According to a spokeswoman for the March of Dimes, more than $700,000 was raised. That compares to last year’s more than $1.3 million.
Bill Boraczek, senior vice president of marketing at Coty Beauty, saluted “the extraordinary accomplishments of March of Dimes over the past 75 years.
“It is a true honor to be here tonight to celebrate not only the March of Dimes’ rich history, but also to celebrate the future everyone here tonight is helping to create — a healthier and happier tomorrow for millions of babies,” he concluded. “That is what the March of Dimes is fighting for, and what all of us tonight are here to support.”
The need for the organization’s work was driven home by the real headliners of the evening: three families that have struggled in the aftermath of premature births. The personal stories of the families culminated in the on-stage appearance of twin sisters Hannah and Alexa Freede, both in fifth grade. Their birth was premature by two months, leaving them both severely underweight. Hannah, who weighed 3.3 pounds at birth, spent a month in the hospital before going home to begin years of physical therapy to strengthen her underdeveloped muscles.
But she was luckier than her sister, Alexa, who weighed only 2.9 pounds. Alexa was born with six holes in her heart and developed breathing problems. After three-and-a-half months in the hospital, open-heart surgery led to a second operation. She also had difficulties eating properly and required a feeding tube until age eight, when the device was removed for good. “That was one the happiest days of my life,” the little girl said, standing next to her bigger sister. “It has been a tough road for me but today I am your typical fifth-grader. My mom always calls me, ‘Sweet and Petite,’” she proudly declared.
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye