FRIENDS & FAMILY: To kick off its Key to the Cure shopping weekend, Saks Fifth Avenue on Thursday fêted the initiative’s 2011 ambassador Jennifer Hudson and Elie Tahari, who created this year’s T-shirt for the cause, with a dinner. Marjorie Gubelmann, Gigi Mortimer, Lara Spencer and Zani Gugelmann were among those who joined host Stephen I. Sadove, Saks’ president and chief executive officer, at Crown. Over the years, Saks, along with its partners and vendors, has raised more than $33 million for cancer research and women’s treatment facilities throughout the U.S.


This story first appeared in the October 24, 2011 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

“KTTC is so important to us,” Sadove said. “It’s something I am also personally passionate about. I lost a sister to breast cancer. We have had remarkable support from designers and the entertainment industry.”


Tahari and Hudson met for the first time that night, though the designer had seen the Grammy and Academy Award winner perform in the past. “I wasn’t feeling good that day and the moment she began to sing, it lifted my spirits,” he recalled. “She put me on a high for a week.”


Hudson didn’t sing Thursday night, but clearly enjoyed herself. “To me this is what it’s all about—making the difference in the world,” she said. Hudson has been keeping quite busy. She is continuing to work on her Weight Watchers campaign and just opened a Jennifer Hudson’s Weight Watchers center in her native Chicago. She also just completed filming “The Three Stooges” with Jane Lynch and Larry David, and has a book coming out next spring— “a memoir about my life and weight loss, my struggles dealing with weight, and trying to help inspire girls who are on the same journey,” she said.


For the short term, though, she has Halloween and the costume for her two-year old son David Daniel Otunga Jr. on her mind. “My little munchkin is ready for his Halloween party,” she said. “He is at the age where is afraid of everything. You can’t even take him to a costume store, so we have to find something nice and friendly. He loves Elmo, so he might be Elmo.”


As for herself, “I am going to be Wonder Woman,” she said, smiling. “I have my costume already.”

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