RIDING HIGH: We’ve seen horses on the runway at John Bartlett in New York and Givenchy in Paris. But leave it to Hermes to sneak one into its annual shareholders’ meeting. A dark brown beauty pranced onstage Monday at the Marigny Theater in Paris before the meeting started, sharing the spotlight with an enormous Birkin bag, a giant teacup and a large plate mysteriously moving around on the stage. Explained Hermes chairman Jean-Louis Dumas: “We tried to put on a show in the theater that was neither comedy nor tragedy.” Indeed, it was more of a fairy tale. Quirky? You bet. The dish didn’t run away with the spoon, but shareholders did get to vote on whether Hermes would have good weather this Sunday for its annual Prix de Diane horse race and party. They’re an optimistic lot: 78 percent are forecasting a picnic-perfect day. Two percent abstained. Meanwhile, Dumas noted that sales since April are advancing at roughly the same rate as the first quarter, when Hermes reported sales rose 6.8 percent to $275 million.

This story first appeared in the June 4, 2002 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

PARTY TO GO: As part of the ongoing CFDA-related festivities this week, V Magazine and Chanel are getting in on the act tonight by importing Vive La Fete, the group that performed at Karl Lagerfeld’s recent show in Paris, for a bash at the TriBeCa Grand. Party animals Lagerfeld, Stephen Gan and Hedi Slimane are all slated to attend, but it’s going to be a late night for the trio, considering Lagerfeld is being honored with a dinner earlier by Oscar and Annette de la Renta.

BASSO ON THE SLOPES: Shopping is probably the second-most-popular sport in Aspen, and Dennis Basso plans to cash in on that. In September, the furrier plans to open “a jewel box” boutique at The Little Nell, a resort at the foot of Aspen Mountain. For the past five years, his weeklong trunk shows during the holidays at The Little Nell have generated $1 million in sales. Located across the street from The Greenhouse, the apres ski bar of choice, the Dennis Basso store is expected to generate $3 million in first-year sales. Along with all the fur and shearling coats, there will be Basso’s gloves, scarves and handbags.

The space was designed by interior decorator Kenneth Alpert and will be the prototype for several other stores Basso plans to open over the next four years. Having been in business for 19 years, Basso said he plans to focus on vacation and resort destinations for his retail plans.

“When people are on vacation, they tend to shop and be more indulgent,” he said.

GUILT-FREE CONSUMPTION: Shopping for charity is typically a popular endeavor, and the PRASAD Beyond Fashion event at Milk Studios last Wednesday was no exception. Crowds piled in to bid on coveted items at both live and silent auctions, such as books from Marilyn Monroe’s personal library, a couture gown by Maggie Norris and a week at the Amanpuri Resort in Phuket, Thailand.

Then, in a frenzied fashion, guests began hunting through racks of wholesale-priced clothes donated by such designers as Calvin Klein, Donna Karan and Yves Saint Laurent. Pique Lacoste shirts were on sale for $35, while Paper Denim & Cloth jeans went for $65. Rashida Jones, Phylicia Rashad and actress Jodie Markell were on hand to lend their support.

PRASAD, which stands for “Philanthropic Relief Altruistic Service and Development,” raised more than $225,000 for The PRASAD Project to benefit children and their families in disadvantaged regions throughout the world.