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NEW YORK — Dress for Success, the nonprofit organization that provides interview suits to some 45,000 women annually, honored makeup guru Bobbi Brown and supermodel and fashion designer Emme at an event last week that raised $415,000.

This story first appeared in the April 16, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“It means so much to me. I’m so proud to be honored here,” said Emme, at the benefit dinner held at the Grand Hyatt Hotel here. “It’s so important and all of us in NYC have so many clothes and if we have any appropriate work attire that we can actually give to someone else, it’s a great way to recycle clothes for something that means something.”

“Sopranos” star Lorraine Bracco, who has been involved with the organization for about two years, presented Brown with her award and said: “I went to Dress for Success and it’s three lousy rooms and they just scream nonprofit. But there were closets of Bobbi Brown products and Joi [Gordon, worldwide executive director at Dress] told me that Bobbi created a whole thing for women and sends in makeup artists and gives out products. I thought here I was doing my little thing and this just warmed my heart.”

Kellwood Co. helped sponsor the benefit dinner, and also donated more than $220,00 in suits to the organization.

On Friday, Dress for Success teamed up with Billion Dollar Babes, the national sample sale, and provided volunteers to work the event. The volunteers earned $3,000 for their work, which will benefit DFS, and in addition, the organization was able to keep the merchandise that didn’t sell — which will be sold later at a fundraiser, said Gordon.

Gordon said during these troubled times, any show of support from companies is welcome.

“What we’re finding is when there’s less money for big companies to write checks, they’re being more creative with their tie-ins and being more creative about the ways they can give,” she said.

Jones New York has also partnered with DFS, kicking off its Work/Life Speaker Series March 26 at the Merrill Lynch offices. With the focus on women and the importance of balancing work and life, Jones plans to donate more than $90,000 in clothing to the organization.

In addition, Merrill Lynch employees donated some 430 dresses, suits and career separates to DFS. For the participating Merrill Lynch employees, the event featured fashion consultations by Jones New York style experts and Macy’s personal shoppers.