NEW YORK — Spring break was in the air earlier this month when the Accessories Council teamed up with Safilo Group to celebrate accessories market week and kickoff QVC’s annual Cure by the Shore charity event, set for May 17 in Malibu, Calif.

The party, at Safilo’s Fifth Avenue showroom, took its cues from beach life, with waiters in Hawaiian shirts and slick sunglasses serving cool mohitas to Seventies disco tunes.

Some 250 guests turned out, from Lil’ Kim, Miss Universe Justine Pacek, Miss USA Shauntay Hinton and Heatherette designers Richie Rich and Trevor Rains to such industry veterans as Abe Chehebar, chairman and ceo of Accessory Network; Danskin president and ceo Carol Hochman; and Michael Cangemi, president and ceo at Aigner Group.

"We want to make sure the accessories industry feels welcome in our home," said Claudio Gottardi, Safilo’s U.S. president and ceo.

The evening ended with a silent auction of 49 lots, which included handbags from Gucci, Christian Dior and Yves Saint Laurent, a leather ottoman by Fendi, a china and silverware set by Calvin Klein and even a full-page ad in Seventeen magazine. A portion of the proceeds will benefit the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. "We have a silent auction because it is a wonderful way to raise money for a charity," noted Sheila Block, executive director of the Accessories Council. "It’s also a guiltless pleasure — almost."

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