Byline: Sharon Edelson

NEW YORK — In the politically correct Nineties, even small retailers are finding ways to support their customers’ charities of choice.
Case in point: Janet Brown, who owns an eponymous designer shop in Port Washington, N.Y. When Brown’s longtime customer Brooke Neidich mentioned her pet cause — the Child Study Center at New York University Medical Center, which is dedicated to understanding and treating child and adolescent mental health — Brown jumped at the chance to help.
She organized a trunk show for Lucien Pellat-Finet, the cashmere designer, at Neidich’s East End Avenue apartment here, and offered to donate 30 percent of the proceeds to the organization.
The sale, which was held Tuesday and Wednesday, was expected to raise at least $20,000, said Neidich, who ischairman of the center’s executive board.
“I think it’s very important for retailers to give back to these very important charities their customers are involved with,” Brown said. “We wanted to do it in a less formal way.”
Pellat-Finet, who flew to New York from Paris at his own expense, said, “I came for Brooke. It’s about children, and I like that because children are our future. In France, we don’t have the same policy of getting involved with charities, but here, it’s part of American life and American business.”
A small group of women, including Beth DeWoody, Julie Minskoff, Alice Tisch, Ann Tenenbaum, Dagmar Feldman and Simone Levitt, attended Tuesday’s event. Some bought three or four sweaters, priced between $1,200 and $1,800 each.
The sweaters, from Pellat-Finet’s fall collection, were arrayed on Neidich’s dining room table. There were color-blocked designs in bright hues, heathered browns and grays, and one sweater, priced at $1,430, with Pellat-Finet’s family crest on the front.
“It’s like Tupperwear,” said Pellat-Finet, referring to the sale. “It’s exotic for me. This is the first time I’ve done something like this in an apartment.”

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