Last night, in Tommy Hilfiger’s sprawling Fifth Avenue flagship, the brand and GQ invited guests to the second annual Men of New York bash. Four men were recognized for their contributions to the city this year: actor Josh Charles, New York Giants wide receiver Victor Cruz, television host Carson Daly, and chef and restaurateur John DeLucie. Naturally, each gent was outfitted head to toe in Tommy Hilfiger.
“Tommy is somebody who, when I first moved to New York, was very supportive of me at MTV,” Daly said of his Total Request Live days. “I only had cargo shorts from California—I was a radio deejay—and he gave me my first suit, and it was really special.”
While the Misshapes deejayed from the mezzanine, guests hobnobbed and, more important, shopped, with proceeds of their sales going to the Fresh Air Fund, an organization that enables inner-city children to enjoy free outdoor camping holidays. Unfortunately, Hilfiger himself was stuck in Miami due to a travel snafu, but his CEO of North America, Gary Sheinbaum, shed light on the evening’s honorees. “These are all-American guys who are very successful in what they do, and they’re all highly respected in their fields—it was natural for us.”
“It’s humbling for me just to be a part of [something with] these well-distinguished men, and to continue to represent New York City in a positive way,” offered Cruz. Charles, too, expressed his admiration for his fellow men of New York—and one in particular. “I’m a big fan of Victor’s…I got a little shy when I met him!” He, like the other honorees, has had a unique love affair with New York. “Anytime I travel, I always feel good when I come home because New York has everything.”
DeLucie, who has opened up a number of restaurants over the past twenty-two years, including The Lion and The Wavery Inn, summed up his city’s draw nicely. “There’s something about New York, where you get this crush of people that’s maddening, invigorating, and thrilling all at the same time.”
According to Stuart Weitzman, earning a lifetime achievement award could be considered a nudge toward an exodus from the industry. “Twenty-six years ago they gave me my first award, which was Man of the Year,” recalled the designer who took home the Lifetime Achievement Award at last night’s 26th Annual Footwear News Achievement Awards held at the Museum of Modern Art. “Now I think they’re trying to retire me.” Despite his jests, the 71-year-old designer (above) shows no signs of slowing down. Selling two million pairs of shoes each year, Weitzman continues to outfit well-heeled women across the globe in his signature 50/50 boots and demure heels. He counts Angelina Jolie, Beyoncé (who even sent in a congratulatory video tribute for Weitzman), and Kate Middleton as fans. Most recently, the latter turned up at London’s Olympic Games in his Corkswoon wedge, turning the stacked style into an instant hit. “She didn’t change her shoes for nine days,” he said. “It was a big deal.”
Among the flurry of footwear fanatics on hand were Miranda Kerr, Tali Lennox, and pop star-turned-designer Fergie, who paired a turquoise Pucci dress with her own Holly pumps. “I love a platform because my husband is so much taller than I am,” the singer admitted. “He’s always leaning over to kiss me.” Even presenter Victor Cruz revealed he’s a “heels guy” and prefers his lady friends in Christian Louboutin or Charlotte Olympia. “I know my stuff,” beamed the New York Giants’ wide receiver. Among the winners of the evening, Charlotte Dellal and Tabitha Simmons (left, with Kerr) took home trophies for Designer of the Year and Style Influencer of the Year respectively, while Rebecca Minkoff earned praise for using Instagram photos in her first print ad campaign (which debuted, by the way, in Style.com/Print). “It was another way that we could connect to our customer and make her feel empowered,” explained Minkoff who, hours earlier, uploaded sandal options for the evening and let her 114k followers decide. No stranger to posting sartorial selfies, Man Repeller’s Leandra Medine lamented over the cons of public forum sharing. “Shoe porn instigates the most heated conversations,” the blogger told Style.com. “The reactions are funny. Amid all the ‘OMG, I love your shoes!’ There’s always the ‘Girl, shave your legs! Why aren’t your toes pedicured!’ It can get pretty hostile.”