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It Takes Two

Barneys Celebrates Its "Perfect Pairs" Initiative and the Human Rights Campaign

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Caroline Issa and Nicholas Kirkwood   
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What do shoes and gay marriage have in common? Both are hot items at Barneys. Since July, the upscale retailer has raised $340,000 for the Human Rights Campaign (and its Americans for Marriage Equality program) through an initiative called Perfect Pairs—progress worth celebrating, and at the Barneys Madison Avenue flagship last night, the likes of Brooke Shields, Margherita Missoni, and Pierre Hardy did just that.

They gathered for a lobster dinner on the store's fifth floor, recently revamped to put fancy footwear for men and women virtually side by side. That move made sense, Narciso Rodriguez suggested. "Why segregate shoes?" Of course, with a handful of states voting on same-sex marriage referenda this November, there was a more serious side to the inclusion theme. "The best couples that I've known have been just loving couples—many of them same-sex, many of them not," co-host Brooke Shields said. "It's difficult to celebrate something that I feel like should be natural." But she made a go of it, swaying and clapping to the beat during the spirited post-dinner performance by Estelle.

Having flown back earlier in the day from the Democratic National Convention, New York City Council Speaker Christine Quinn ducked out after cocktails. Quinn, who is publicly gay, was also outed earlier this year as a discount shopper when she accidentally left the price tag on a pair of heels while being profiled by The New Yorker. "They're silver metallic heel, gray faux snakeskin, bought at the Kenneth Cole outlet in Secaucus for twenty-five dollars," Quinn boasted of the shoes in question. "And might I just say," she added, flashing her pink heels, "these are Jimmy Choos, but 50 percent off—end-of-summer Internet sale."

No such pieties at the raucous debut of Chez André, a pop-up club from André Saraiva and André Balazs at the latter's East Village Standard hotel. The karaoke bash drew the likes of Karlie Kloss and Theophilus London, and with Prabal Gurung hosting his after-party there tonight, the band plays on.

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