NEW YORK — It was Kal’s show and the turnout was awesome.
Six hundred designers, manufacturers and retailers, competitors and colleagues alike, packed the Grand Ballroom at The Plaza Tuesday night, to honor Kalman Ruttenstein, Bloomingdale’s senior vice president of fashion direction, and to support The Phoenix House. "He transcends the competitive rage of New York. We all love Kal," said Barneys’ Simon Doonan.
Ruttenstein, a 25-year veteran of the store, received The Phoenix House Fashion Award, putting his reputation for fashion innovation, original thinking, wit, and for shopping the world for new ideas, under the spotlight.
"The greatest thing about Kal is that he’s always curious," said Michael Kors. "To be hip, and to stay in fashion, you’ve got to be always curious."
"Kal sees it before it’s on the radar screen, and even when it’s on the radar screen, most of us don’t see it," said Bloomingdale’s chairman, Michael Gould. "Kal embodies the principles of Phoenix House. He’s a developer of innovative programs and he’s a mentor."
Others attending included: Ralph Lauren, Elie Tahari, Shoshanna Lonstein, Dick Baker, Denise Seegal, Marvin Traub, Roger Farah, David Tracy, Ron Frasch, P.Diddy, Anna Sui, Michael Kors, Diane Von Furstenberg, Jack McCollough,Lazaro Hernandez and Zac Posen. "That room is filled with glamour sardines," said Posen.
In an evening that was fun, as well as emotional, Shakera Burns explained how she overcame drugs, drinking, beatings and abandonment with the help of Phoenix Academy of Westchester, during her heartfelt speech. She said now she’s anhonor student ready to graduate from school and face the world. Through Phoenix House, "I came to realize that I am the only one responsible for my actions."
"The future depends on our youth," said Ruttenstein. "Let’s help them stay drug-free. I’m truly overwhelmed to receive this award and overwhelmed with the response."
The event, chaired by Bloomingdale’s executive vice president Frank Doroff, raised nearly $700,000, surpassing the evening’s goal.
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