Clockwise from top left: Jamison Earnest from Yellow Fever, Jeffrey Chow, Peter Som, Michelle Smith from Milly, Alice Roi, Eugenia Kim and Julia Neaman.

<b>JITNEY JITTERS:</b> When <b>Kelly Bensimon</b>, a contributor to Hamptons magazine, started working on a book called “American Style” that is slated for publication this fall, she hit upon the idea that young designers should have more...

JITNEY JITTERS: When Kelly Bensimon, a contributor to Hamptons magazine, started working on a book called “American Style” that is slated for publication this fall, she hit upon the idea that young designers should have more opportunities to get to know each other. So she and her husband, photographer Gilles Bensimon, threw a party at their East Hampton home Saturday night and invited several of them for a barbecue.

This story first appeared in the July 20, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

One caveat: Most young designers don’t have the resources to summer anywhere near the Bensimons’ pad on Further Lane, so it took some complicated maneuvering to get many of them to the party. Jeffrey Chow took an afternoon Hamptons jitney (and, on the way, booked a motel room in Montauk rather than ride back late that night). Alice Roi drove two hours from Atlantic Beach in Long Island. Peter Som caught a ride with a friend from the Fire Island Pines. Eugenia Kim and a friend drove from Long Island’s North Fork in a Chevy pickup that stalled on the ferry ride and had to get a jump-start from a policeman. Three members of the collective As Four, who had promised to board a jitney that afternoon, never arrived.

For those who did make it, the party was worth the effort.

“It’s a nice way to meet other designers and get a chance to chat on less of a business level, but more of a social level,” Som said.

Kim said she was comparing notes on showrooms and production with fellow designer Julia Neaman. In addition, each designer sat in a makeshift studio for a portrait by Bensimon, which they will be able to use as a head shot in their press materials.

“Hopefully, I held up my end of the deal and looked OK,” Som said.

STREET WALKERS: Ron Chereskin’s dedication to animal causes is going a step beyond his usual inclusion of pets up for adoption at his runway shows. On Aug. 3 he will co-host with model Marisol Thomas an acoustic performance by Rob Thomas and Jewel at the China Club to raise funds for Sidewalk Angels Foundation, which works with charities to assist both people and animals on the streets of cities across the country. While 200 tickets to the event are being sold by invitation, about 40 more are being made available in two eBay auctions, one of which opened on Monday. A second is scheduled on July 26.