There’s no stopping the impending frenzy of New York Fashion Week, but Tuesday night offered a brief getaway from it all. Gilt unveiled its partnership with Livelihood, Ashley Biden’s socially conscious apparel brand, at Spring Place in Manhattan. Biden is starting with one of her favorite apparel items, hoodies.
The daughter of the former vice president said she loves wearing hoodies, though finding the one that’s just right for her has been a dilemma. “Wherever I shopped, it was either pink, printed with words I wouldn’t wear, or out of my price range.” So why not design one herself, for a good cause. “I chose a hoodie because it’s universal, was once ubiquitous with the labor movement and is currently symbolic of important social justice movements,” said Biden.
She didn’t discount the idea of creating a bona fide collection one day, to further the cause. “For now, it’s just the hoodie. But I have many, many ideas. I love a good blazer. My middle name is Blazer. There are definitely many things we could do.”
The hoodies are available in black, slate gray, winter white, navy, emerald and blush, and retail for $79 to $99. One hundred percent of the net profits will support the Livelihood causes, which for now are focused on Wilmington, Del., where Biden grew up, and Anacostia in Washington, D.C.
Christian Siriano, whose husband is “a huge [Joe] Biden fan,” was at the party enjoying a night off from fashion show preparations. “We did 13 fittings this morning starting at 8 a.m,” he said. “I’m pretty tired, but it was good.”
Fran Drescher, Olivia Palermo, Rev. Al Sharpton and DJ Mia Moretti were also attendance, but all eyes — and phones — were focused on one person in particular.
It was clear that former Vice President Joe Biden was in full dad mode from the moment he arrived. He posed for pictures with his daughter and wife Jill on the step-and-repeat before making his way to the space directly in front of the stage, where a crowd quickly formed a tight circle around him. He posed for selfies — and even took some of them himself — before getting up onto the stage to give a speech.
“I’ve told Ashley from the time she was a little girl that every woman should understand their fathers know what I know,” he said. “I used to say, ‘Ashley, just understand, I know you have me in the palm of your hand. Don’t think I don’t know that. Don’t think I’m stupid. I’m not stupid, I know I’m being used and I don’t mind.'”