BOSTON — Carolina Herrera, fighting the flu, squeezed in fashion appearances during a two-day fund-raising visit for the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute.

As a bonus, she received the equivalent of keys to the city — a Red Sox jersey, hat and bat signed by members of the world championship team — at a private dinner in her honor on May 19.

“I got a baseball shirt with number ‘8’ and my ‘C’ — for captain, or, in this case, Carolina,” Herrera laughed the next morning during the Couture for Hope luncheon at the Hyatt Regency Hotel that was sponsored by Neiman Marcus and raised some $250,000 for Dana-Farber’s Women’s Cancers Program.

The number eight was worn by Red Sox Hall of Famer Carl Yastrzemski, but was apropos for Herrera, who is expecting her eighth grandchild in August. Because of the flu bug, Herrera declined an invitation to toss out the first pitch at a Red Sox-Braves game.

In addition to the dinner at the 60 State Street ballroom, Herrera gave a runway presentation of her fall collection at the luncheon, then swung into Neiman’s for a trunk show and to sign copies of her memoir. Customers snapped up about 100 copies of the book, and several ordered a $3,480 spring cotton blend suit in pink, mint green and silver, Neiman’s spokeswoman April Riccio said, declining to divulge total sales.

Herrera said she is fond of Boston because, like her design sensibility, it sticks to classics.

Asked about opening a Boston store, she said, “Sure I will, down the road … Boston’s a lovely place.”

Meanwhile, across town at the Marriott Copley Place, Filene’s rolled out a 132-foot runway for a Lauren by Ralph Lauren fashion show fund-raiser, with Mayor Thomas M. Menino the keynote speaker. The luncheon raised more than $100,000 to benefit Boston’s Aid for Cancer Research and the Ralph Lauren Cancer Center in Harlem.

This story first appeared in the May 27, 2005 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

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