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NEW YORK — Bloomingdale’s has been in a festive mood lately, staging parties at both its uptown and downtown stores here. The SoHo location recently toasted the cast of “Will & Grace” to celebrate the NBC show’s seventh season and the release of the companion album “Will & Grace: Let the Music Out” with a party attended by Venus Williams, Joan Collins, Richard Lambertson and John Varvatos, as well as the four stars of the show.

Bloomingdale’s often holds events tied to movies and plays, and is selling the CD in some of its stores. “We believe in the natural synergy of entertainment and retail,” noted Tony Spring, senior executive vice president of marketing.

And last week, the chain’s 59th Street flagship held a fashion presentation and luncheon chaired by Somers Farkas, Kristen Solsvig Galev, Cynthia Lufkin, Pamela Michaelcheck and Barbara Stovall Smith to benefit the Southampton Fresh Air Home, a camp for physically challenged youth. Among designers and socialites who came out were Jeffrey Chow, Nicole Miller and Francisco Costa, as well as Muffie Potter Aston, Grace Hightower and Tara Rockefeller.

Held in the designer collection area on the fourth floor, the event raised more than $40,000 from ticket sales and a portion of proceeds from sales of Bloomingdale’s designer collections that day.

This story first appeared in the September 30, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.