What philanthropic fashionista doesn’t love shopping — and lunching, of course — for a cause?
On Tuesday, the The Society of Memorial Sloan Kettering took over the Rainbow Room at Rockefeller Center for its annual winter lunch. The venue’s impressive views may have been obscured by the rainy weather, but the room still fulfilled its namesake through a smattering of colorful floral frocks. The event had relocated from uptown eatery Daniel, where it’s been held the past few years, which allowed the function to pack in a larger crowd — Jessica Seinfeld, Aerin Lauder, Tory Burch, Julie Macklowe, Jill Kargman, Indre Rockefeller and Tabitha Simmons had all come out to show their support.
This is the second year that Net-a-porter sponsored the event, and during the month of January the retailer donated 20 percent of its sales on full-priced items to MSK. This year’s lunch specifically raised money for MSK’s newest initiative to fund research for Clinical Genomic Profiling for Pediatric Cancer Patients, which works to identify gene mutations that lead to cancer development.
“I think cancer has touched all of us in one way, shape or form,” remarked Net-a-Porter president Alison Loehnis in between greeting guests and posing for a selfie with Gabriela Hearst and Karolina Kurkova. “We love this idea of women from all over the world getting together to make the world a better place.”
The timing of the event is also convenient — the London-based executive is staying in town for New York Fashion Week, which officially starts Friday.
“For me, fashion week is where it all starts — it all starts with the product. So seeing creativity, and seeing what’s coming up for seasons to come is incredibly exciting,” Loehnis added. And with the shows and presentations continuing over the next several weeks to London, Milan and Paris, it can also be an incredibly taxing time. “For sure, travel can be tiring, but I think you just brace yourself and try to sleep a lot before, keep smiling — and know at the end of the day you’re looking at beautiful things in beautiful cities around the world, so how bad can it be?”
Not that terrible.
Burch, for her part, had made it out to the lunch despite being in the final stretch of collection prep.
“Our show is on Tuesday, but it was well worth it — coming here to support this,” the designer said before taking her seat. “We’re still in the midst of getting everything done. We have the weekend,” she added. “It’s sort of like college tests — cramming at the last minute.”