By  on May 16, 2007

NEW YORK — Bloomingdale's and Chanel on Friday teamed up to raise awareness and money for the New York University Child Study Center, which is dedicated to improving prevention, identification and treatment of psychiatric disorders in children and adolescents.

Chanel's fall collection was presented in the store's fifth-floor furniture galleries, which were turned into a runway venue with white curtains and a white feather-covered wall bearing the double C logo.

"We're going to be the Sloan-Kettering of children's psychiatric disorders," said Brooke Gerber Neidich, chairman of the board of the center, referring to the prestigious cancer institution. "In 10 years, we've raised over $110 million. We're building a new building, which will be open in two years."

After the fashion show, guests were ushered to the fourth floor, where space for a dozen tables and chairs for the luncheon was carved out from designer collections.

"Our life is not about clothes," said Michael Gould, chairman and chief executive officer of Bloomingdale's. "That's a means to an end, and the end is helping others."

Dr. Harold S. Koplewicz, director of the Child Study Center, told the audience that 12 million kids have psychiatric disorders. "The real issue is research — how genes work and how brains work. Without treatment, the most likely diagnosis is jail."

Koplewicz introduced a short film, "Childhood Lost and Found," in which children and families affected by autism, attention deficit/hyperactivity disorder and depression, discussed their lives before and after becoming involved with the center. After the emotional film, there were few dry eyes in the room. "I got you to cry," Koplewicz said to Barbara Cirkva, division president of fashion, watches and fine jewelry of Chanel in the U.S. "Chanel is such a feminine and female brand," she said. "Bloomingdale's approached us. We thought it [Child Study Center] was incredibly moving."

The fashion show and luncheon raised $55,000 for the center. Bloomingdale's donated 10 percent of sales from designer collection purchases made on Friday.

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