After having to put her annual toy drive on ice last year due to COVID-19 concerns, “Queen of the Night” is getting back in the holiday spirit with a fashion designer-studded event planned for Dec. 10.
Regulars like Marc Jacobs, Patricia Field and artist Cindy Sherman are expected to be showing their support at “Bartschland’s New York, New York! Holiday Show x Toy Drive” at Sony Hall.
There will also be newcomers to the ticketed bash like Christian Cowan, Teddy Quinlivan and TikTok-er Tefi. Amanda Lepore will be among the amped-up number of hosts at the event, which is expected to draw a few hundred people.
The trove of donated dolls, games and other toys will be given to children in need at local hospitals and social service agencies. Bartsch said she will be very hands-on with the distribution. As many designers and retailers know far too well, on-time shipping is an utmost holiday concern, but Bartsch has already ironed out the logistics of delivering the donated toys to area hospitals, thanks to the United Hispanics Construction Workers, the Bronx-based nonprofit that will be donating trucks and other vehicles so that the toys get to the different places on time. “I want to cut through the red tape and get these toys where they need to go,” Bartsch said.
Aiming for 5,000 toys, guests are allowed to bring more than one. There is also a “you-give-a-toy, we-give-a-show” plan in place for attendees, said Bartsch, who will be headlining. There will be a few holiday looks mixed in and the toys will be on display, but her off-Broadway-like performance remains the same with the party like atmosphere and crowd’s involvement being essential as ever.
Noting how toys are a great medium to incorporate into fashion, Bartsch said dolls can be turned into handbags. She has a “really cool” teddy bear jacket that Jeremy Scott made while collaborating with Adidas. “Anything that inspires you, whether it’s a stuffed toy or another toy, by all means go ahead and bring it into your business whether it’s fashion or any business,” she said.
But with the annual toy drive approaching, her focus is on designers (and others) who are interested “in helping underprivileged kids and people,” Bartsch said.
With the holidays in full swing, there are other toy stories to be discovered in New York City. For the first time, FAO Schwartz is offering VIP exclusive tours on Monday, Wednesday and Saturday mornings until Jan. 8. “A resident toy soldier” will point out some of the history of the oldest toy store in the U.S., and will give members of the tour a minute or two to dance on the store’s oversized piano and shop at discounted prices before the doors open to the public.
The exclusive tickets can be purchased through Viator and a portion of the proceeds will benefit Candlelighters, which helps children with cancer and their families.