HELPING HAND: Barneys New York and UNICEF joined forces for a two-day shopping charity event to help raise emergency funds for Nepal.
The benefit, which donated a portion of sales of participating designers to the children’s fund, began Monday and culminated on Tuesday with a luncheon and panel featuring Monique Lhuillier, Brooke Garber Neidich of Sidney Garber jewelry and perfumer Frédéric Malle. Simon Doonan, creative ambassador for Barneys, moderated the panel, whose chosen topic was “good taste.”
“Good taste, bad taste. Does it exist? What does it mean as a designer?” Doonan said before the panel. “It’s so subjective. For a lot of people, it’s a strong guiding principle. A design aesthetic. I always think of Diana Vreeland, bad taste is an important ingredient in life, it’s like a splash of paprika.”
Lhuillier was happy to support a cause that’s important to her.
“UNICEF is something I’ve always been passionate about,” said Lhuillier, who flew in from Los Angeles for the event. “I was born and raised in the Philippines. We had a bad typhoon and it really destroyed a whole area. When I went home for Christmas, I visited the site and there were UNICEF tents everywhere. They are always the first to get to where they are needed.”
Garber Neidich, whose jewelry occupies eight cases on the main floor of the store, had just come from Paris and previously the Biennale in Venice to attend. “It’s extraordinary and something I believe in,” said the designer, who recalled trick or treating for UNICEF as a little girl in the Chicago suburbs. “It’s a wonderful thing that Barneys does.”
The funds raised at the shopping event will help fund supplies like water, emergency tents that can serve as medical centers, vaccines to help prevent the spread of disease and school supplies. Beth McCostlin, deputy director of UNICEF in Chicago, said the first 90 days following a catastrophic event like the Nepal earthquake are the most critical to mobilize funds.
Other participating designers included Nili Lotan and Mark Davis jewelry and Mila Moursi skin care.