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Fashionable Cause...Back-to-School...Dressed To Cut...Fashion Lobbying...Golden Exhibit...Donnkenny's Latest Layer

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FASHIONABLE CAUSE: Lighthouse International is holding its annual Posh Sale on Thursday through Saturday this week at its offices here at 110 East 60th Street in New York. Lighthouse was founded in 1905 and is a not-for-profit organization that supports vision rehabilitation services, education and research for blind or partially sighted individuals.

This story first appeared in the May 13, 2003 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

Clothes at the sale include new and gently used men’s and women’s clothing from designers including Giorgio Armani, Chanel, Ralph Lauren, Bill Blass, Hermès, Prada, Celine, Burberry and Donna Karan, among others. Admission is $10 per day or $25 for a three-day pass.

BACK-TO-SCHOOL: Evelyn Lauder and Scoop owner Stefani Greenfield will each receive awards from the Laboratory Institute of Merchandise at the college’s commencement ceremony May 28 at the Puck Building.

Lauder, senior corporate vice president of The Estée Lauder Cos., will receive the Doctor of Humane Letters Honorary Degree for her work to find a cure for breast cancer and other charitable causes. LIM will bestow the Distinguished Achievement Award to Greenfield, who will also serve as the commencement speaker.

“We’re honored to have luminaries of Evelyn Lauder’s and Stefani Greenfield’s caliber at this year’s commencement program,” said Elizabeth Marcuse, LIM president. “Their talent, accomplishments and philanthropic commitments will serve as a standard that this year’s graduating class could aspire to.”

The Distinguished Alumni Award will be given to Mark Simonetti who graduated from LIM in 1983. He is currently vice president of merchandising for Perry Ellis.

DRESSED TO CUT: New York-based dress designer Kathlin Argiro outfitted seven models in some top-selling spring styles Wednesday at the opening of the Anderson French Salon in the International Flavors & Fragrances building. Argiro also dressed some of the Anderson French staff, bringing the total to about 15 women. The models wore the “Lori” dress, a short, strapless A-line cotton style, which wholesales for about $140.

FASHION LOBBYING: Beautiful architecture in New York’s Garment District is about as common as a rhinestone at Calvin Klein. So when the owners of 530 Seventh Avenue unveiled their newly refurbished lobby late last month after a two-year renovation project, the attention to architectural detail came as a pleasant surprise to tenants.

Returned to its Art Deco splendor, the intricate beige-and-brown Tennessee marble now touts a highly lustrous polish. There is also new lighting, a new revolving door and new concierge desk. According to Kaufman/Adler Realty, which owns the building, 530 Seventh Avenue currently has a 98 percent occupancy rate.

In addition to the remodeled lobby — which cost almost $1 million — new windows, refurbished elevator cabs and hallways, and a new security system were put in place. It was carried out by Macrae-Gibson Architects and American Construction served as the general contractor.

According to Kaufman/Adler president Bob Savitt, the building is trying to attract more tenants in the junior market and recently added Rampage Clothing, Star City Apparel, Take Out and Lee Thomas. Other tenants include the design offices of Michael Kors, Eileen Fisher, Max Mara, Maggy London, Onward Kashiyama and Chetta B.

GOLDEN EXHIBIT: Boston’s John F. Kennedy Library and Museum will open an exhibition Thursday on the wedding between Jacqueline Bouvier and John Fitzgerald Kennedy, as 2003 marks 50 years since the couple was married.

Kennedy’s wedding dress will be on display as well as her Van Cleef & Arpels emerald and diamond engagement ring. An eight-minute home video of the wedding, invitations, photos and Jacqueline Kennedy’s poem “Meanwhile in Massachusetts,” which she wrote and gave to her husband on their first anniversary, will also be on display.

The wedding gown, designed by Ann Lowe, was made of 50 yards of ivory silk taffeta and features a portrait neckline and bouffant skirt decorated with small flowers and tucking details. The exhibit runs through Oct. 31.

DONNKENNY’S LATEST LAYER: Donnkenny has set up a coat division and has hired outerwear veterans Ron and Bill Gallo to head it up as president and executive vice president, respectively. The Gallos previously ran Rose Cloak & Suit, which had the license for Bill Blass, Bill Blass Signature and Blassport outerwear. Their family has worked in the outerwear business for 80 years. Donnkenny now has a licensing deal to produce all three lines, said Daniel Levy, chairman and chief executive officer of the firm.

The Blass labels should generate a few extra million in annual sales for Donnkenny, a $107 million operation, he said. Those collections will continue to be shown at 530 Seventh Avenue in New York for the time being.

“We’re looking to diversify our business. We like the Blass names and we think they’re good names,” Levy said. “We’re always looking to expand Donnkenny’s reach.

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