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When Vanessa Traina arrived at Le Caprice for a dinner celebrating her new capsule collection for French label Maje on Wednesday, she was putting the wares to good use. Wearing a cut-out heavy top that stood in opposition to the sleet storm outside, the socialite had draped a tuxedo jacket from the line over her shoulders.

“I have another one that goes over when I go outside,” she said of the coat, laughing. Traina and her sister Victoria have been known to pal around with a certain set of buzzed-about young designers, and, sure enough, a few had shown up for support. Alexander Wang was there, as were Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez of Proenza Schouler, and Joseph Altuzarra. Mary-Kate and Ashley Olsen didn’t make it to dinner, but they’d stopped by Barneys New York for the presentation beforehand.

This story first appeared in the March 25, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

Did having such friends intimidate Traina when she undertook design herself?

“No,” she said. “I wasn’t really trying to do something high fashion. I was really trying to do something contemporary. I did what I wanted to do.”

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