ATLANTA — Jeffrey Kalinsky had a lot to celebrate this past weekend in Atlanta: the opening of his first store 25 years ago and the return of his Jeffrey Fashion Cares event to Phipps Plaza, where it started 23 years ago.
The party Sunday evening at Jeffrey Atlanta featured a wall of memorabilia of pictures of friends and family, as well as newspaper and magazine stories from over the years. Singer Theresa Hightower serenaded Jeffrey with “Home” from the “The Wiz,” one of his favorite songs from one of his favorite Broadway shows.
When asked why a young man from Charleston, S.C., opened a store in Atlanta, Kalinsky said, “I wanted my own store and, being from Charleston, I thought I had a good understanding of the city [Atlanta] and thought it would be a good place to live. Some of the happiest times of my life have been in Atlanta.”
Just around the corner from the store, also at Phipps Plaza, the setup for Jeffrey Fashion Cares was well underway to accommodate nearly 800 guests at the sold-out show. “I came back to Phipps because this is where it all began,” Kalinsky said. ”I always believed in Phipps and it feels good to be here. It will be our home for years to come. ”
The decor for the show, held Monday evening, was long white draping resembling a tent, enclosing the event. “It’s a venue in a venue,” said Kalinsky. “We didn’t want to feel like we were in a mall.”
The evening, as usual, included a silent auction and later a live auction in which the audience bid on jewelry and trips to New York and elsewhere. The Vogue trip for two to New York Fashion Week drew the biggest bid of the evening, $10,000. When the auctioneer asked for donations for Susan B. Komen Greater Atlanta and the Atlanta AIDS Fund, the two charities that benefit from Jeffrey Fashion Cares, Kalinsky raised his paddle to donate $10,000. The 2014 show raised $700,000.
The fashion show, the start of Atlanta’s fall social season, featured sporty, dressy and evening looks, including coats, jackets and lots of capes, sequins, velvet, brocade, shearlings, plaids, some wild prints and military looks, including camouflage. High-end designers included Dries Van Noten, Mira Mikati, Marc Jacobs, Erdem, Mary Katrantzou, Narciso Rodriguez, Christian Louboutin, Saint Laurent Paris, and more.
Dewayne Herbert, manager of Phipps Plaza, said, “We couldn’t be happier to transfer a mall into part of the biggest fashion fund-raiser in the South.”