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When confronted with the irresistible charms of American Ballet Theatre’s charitable tour de force, Blaine Trump, Calvin Klein did what any man in his right man would do: he caved.

“Blaine talked me into doing this,” said Klein, standing in the center of his store Thursday surrounded by Barry Diller, Diane Von Furstenberg and several ballerinas, all shopping to benefit the ballet company. “She’s already doing a number on me for what we should do next.”

This story first appeared in the September 13, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Trump admitted that her manicured nails were sinking deep into Klein and she wasn’t letting go.

“We have a date to go to the ballet,” she said. “We’re also hoping he’ll do some costumes for a new one.”

But Klein was focused strictly on the business at hand before hosting an intimate dinner at the Plaza Athénée. “All I want to know is if we are selling any clothes,” he deadpanned.

Other designers asked themselves the same question when they threw a flurry of shopping parties to kick off the season. Akris’ Albert Kriemler hosted a luncheon the next day at Bergdorf Goodman to celebrate his expanded boutique, and on Monday, Roberto Cavalli took over the department store’s cafe for a quick lunch with several customers including Ivana Trump, Jennifer Creel and Hilary Dick, to introduce his fragrance and home collection.

“I was always the model who they used to save the ugliest dresses for because I could make anything look good,” said Carol Alt, clasping Cavalli’s hand. “Roberto loves women, and when I wear his dresses or his skins, I feel that.”

At teatime, the uptown crowd traded in Bergdorf’s for Sotheby’s, where Carolina Herrera held a vintage sale of her greatest hits to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering. As ladies like Helen Schifter sifted through racks clutching their finds, others modeled their wares beneath Herrera’s critical eye.

“You’ll have to take the shoulders in,” she advised Debbie Bancroft pinching the Eighties-styled shoulder of her poodle coat. As Bancroft retreated behind the changing room’s makeshift screen, Herrera called for her next client: “Keep the fashion show coming!”

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