By  on May 2, 2005

NEW YORK — Talk about star power.

Fans of Josie Natori lingerie and actress Susan Lucci turned out for a cocktail party Thursday night at the Saks Fifth Avenue flagship here to kick off a national campaign to promote the nonprofit charity Women in Need.

The goal of the campaign, which will go nationwide at Saks and Nordstrom stores, is to raise awareness for WIN, which lends emotional and financial support to homeless and abused women and their families. An undisclosed percentage of sales from the two-week Mother’s Day promotion, closing May 9, will be donated to WIN, Natori said.

As bystanders awaited the arrival of Natori and Lucci, shoppers in the ninth-floor lingerie department bought Natori items such as bras and camis with coordinating boy-cut briefs, lounge sets and sleepgowns.

There were Lucci fans ranging from girls in their teens to grandmothers, as well as men who said they watch ABC’s “All My Children,” in which Lucci has starred as Erica Kane for 30 years.

“I’ve been a fan for 22 years, since I was 13,” said Tim Sauceda, a fashion designer. “This woman [Erica Kane] is not a victim, she’s incredibly strong….She inspired me to become a designer because her body is so perfect for clothes.”

Christina Gan, 24, who heard of the Saks event through the susanlucci.com Web site, said, “I started watching Susan Lucci while I was in college. I watch her every day. I can’t go through a day without her.”

Several Saks sales associates said they watch “All My Children” marathons on weekends on the cable station SoapNet.

“We love Erica Kane and can’t get enough of her,” said a saleswoman.

There was a hush as Natori made an entrance dressed in a bright orange pink reptile jacket by Dior. She was followed by Lucci, who was in Chanel from head to toe. A couple of security guards kept dozens of soap opera fans at bay as one man began chanting “Erica, Erica, Erica.”

Also present were Fred Wilson, chairman of Saks, and Ron Frasch, vice chairman and chief merchandising officer.

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