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Oscar de la Renta’s Laura Kim and Fernando Garcia, special guests at the annual Saks Fifth Avenue and League to Save Lake Tahoe luncheon last Saturday, decided to get a close-up look at the nature under threat — and got more than they bargained for.

“Laura and I were going to do a hike at 6:30 in the morning when we saw a bear tear right out of the neighbor’s gate, which was quite the wake-up call. That thing was running fast and I was terrified,” Garcia related. The pair ended up waiting it out and completed their hike, and also enjoyed swimming and waterskiing on the lake.

The centerpiece of the event was a showing of the resort 2018 collection in front of 650 guests at the Schumacher family estate on the shores of the famed body of water.

Created 48 years ago when Bill Blass began showing his collection there to a small group of clients and friends, the event has evolved into a benefit luncheon and fashion show partnership with Oscar de la Renta and Saks Fifth Avenue for almost 20 years. This year’s event raised a record $1.1 million.

“We were lucky enough to go on Oscar’s last trip to Lake Tahoe, so we were able to see how much love there is for this event and we are honored to carry the torch. It was sort of humbling to inherit it and hear the stories they shared of the past, while seeing how far the event has come along,” said Garcia.

Alex and Eliza Bolen were on hand with their sons Henry and Thomas to mingle with families that the late designer knew well, and meet some new fans. “Our customers broadly have embraced what Laura and Fernando are up to, but there’s a whole new customer they have attracted. They brought a lot of newness and even denim to the collection, which was very compelling to the women backstage,” Alex Bolen said of the backstage order-taking. In addition, Saks is hosting a three-day trunk show at its San Francisco store.

“There’s been a lot of enthusiasm for Fernando and Laura’s collection for Oscar de la Renta. They’re not like new designers, it’s more like they are continuing the story. We are also big supporters of their Monse collection,” noted Roopal Patel, Saks’ senior vice president and fashion director.