COMITE COLBERT GIVES KIDS A TASTE OF WORK

Byline: Teena Hammond

BEVERLY HILLS, Calif. — The Comite Colbert, an association representing 75 French luxury goods firms, is gearing up for its annual festival here and putting the focus on educating children in the making of luxury goods.
The festival, running from Nov. 14-18, includes parties and other special events inside stores along Rodeo Drive. In addition, the 300 block of Rodeo Drive will be closed to traffic on Nov. 16, and 20 craftsmen from French luxury companies will set up outdoor booths to demonstrate the techniques of their trade.
Among the companies participating in the festival are Bernardaud, Celine, Chanel, Champagne Louis Roederer, Christian Dior, Christofle, Daum, Hermes, John Lobb, La Chemise Lacoste, Lalique, Louis Vuitton, Remy Martin, Revillon, Saint Louis and Van Cleef & Arpels.
Information on the event will be distributed to 10,000 schoolchildren in the Los Angeles area. Of these children, 120 will be invited to work with craftsman in two-hour shifts in the stores on Nov. 15, according to Ketty Maisonrouge, president of the Colbert Foundation, who disclosed details of the festival during a preview breakfast at Hermes in Beverly Hills on Tuesday.
For the children, it will be a rare opportunity to get some hands-on experience working with craftsman in different product categories, including leather, fragrances and mosaics.
During the festival, a cocktail party and auction will benefit the Artists Rights Foundation, with about 1,000 people expected to attend the auction, Maisonrouge said. Celebrities, including Martin Scorsese, Sharon Stone, Angelica Huston and Jaclyn Smith are contributing artistic items for the auction. The nonprofit Artists Rights Foundation was formed in 1991 to protect artwork threatened with modification, distortion or mutilation.

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