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1 posts tagged "Hetrick-Martin Institute"

Jeffrey Kalinsky Cares a Whole Lot

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Jeffrey KalinskyJeffrey Kalinsky cares. One need only look to his annual charity events in New York and Atlanta—which, aptly dubbed Jeffrey Fashion Cares, raise money for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer research and LGBTQ organizations—to see that. But does fashion care? Considering the stereotype that the industry’s concerns never reach beyond silhouettes, vanity, and wow! factor (thank you, Prêt-à-Porter and Zoolander), we felt this was a pertinent question. “I think it does care,” answered Kalinsky. “I mean, Michael Kors recently made a $5 million donation to God’s Love We Deliver. Diane von Furstenberg does so much good work, as does Robert Duffy from Marc Jacobs,” he reasoned. “The list goes on. You’re never going to find a profession in which everybody cares. But yes, there are a lot of people in fashion who care.” Glad we could put that debate to rest.

Kalinsky, known for his Jeffrey boutiques in downtown Manhattan and Atlanta, launched his philanthropic gala twenty-two years ago in Georgia. In 2003, after opening his New York store on 14th Street, the retailer brought his charitable evening to the Big Apple. This year’s event, scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at the 69th Regiment Armory (get your tickets here!), will donate 80 to 90 percent of the funds raised to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Lambda Legal, ACRIA, and the Point Foundation.

While the 2014 Jeffrey Fashion Cares board includes such bold-faced names as Prabal Gurung and Mickey Boardman, the real star of the benefit is honoree Rob Smith, a tireless gay rights activist and fashion executive. “I feel it’s important for me to honor the real volunteers out there,” said Kalinsky of his choice to highlight Smith, who recently traveled to Russia with Athlete Alley (where he currently serves on the board) to help further LGBT efforts on the ground at the Olympic Games in Sochi. “There are a lot of ‘famous people’ out there who do a lot of good, but Rob is a guy who has worked so hard for charity just because.”

We should also mention that the evening will feature an enticing auction. A trip to Paris, Maggie Smith’s Downton Abbey choker, a Suno tunic, and an Alexander Wang handbag are just a few of the carefully considered items up for grabs. You can get a head start and bid now at GavelAndGrand.com.

The impressive selection of auction pieces shouldn’t be surprising, considering the top-notch mix of wares available in Kalinsky’s stores. His latest find? LVMH Prize finalist Simon Porte Jacquemus, whose brand Kalinsky picked up for Fall. “I loved it because it didn’t seem like it was looking back—it was looking forward,” offered Kalinsky, adding that he both stocks and admires newcomers like Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson, and Yang Li. So what does it take for a newbie to catch the retailer’s eye? “I have to see the right blend of art and commerce,” he explained. “And I just know it when I see it. I can hear the cash registers ringing.”

Photo: Courtesy Photo