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The Crowd:

Versace event is a black, ultra chic affair

November 01, 2007|By B.W. COOK

Black is the new black.

Some say black is back. Others are quick to admit black never left. This week at South Coast Plaza, Versace celebrated the opening of its chic new boutique and black was definitely the star of the evening.

More than 300 people, most attired in black, posed for the flashing cameras of the local paparazzi as the social elite mixed and mingled with the young and hip fashionistas — ultra thin, ultra coy and ultra ultra. The new Versace collection features prêt-à-porter for men and women as well as luxurious lines of fashionable accessories and jewelry, watches, fragrances, a home collection and services such as interior design for your jet, helicopter, yacht or Lamborghini Murcielago.

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The in-store event was energized by members of the local charity known as the Harvesters — with their husbands, boyfriends, beaus and best friends. Many of them donned Versace dresses for the evening, not the husbands of course, but they even wore their Versace suits. It was pure Versacelicious as models paraded throughout the party, showcasing the 2007-08 fall and winter collection.

Heavy hitters from Versace New York flew in to be part of the scene. Spotted in the crowd were Roberto Lorenzini, president and COO of Versace USA, Paul Beck, Margaret Kirkby and, representing South Coast Plaza the scion to the family fortune, Anton Segerstrom. The tall and sexy Robin McMonigle, this year’s Harvester’s chairwoman, dazzled the crowd in her 5-inch heels, making her even taller and more glamorous.

Versace generously donated 10% of the evening’s proceeds to the Harvesters who in turn support the Second Harvest Food Bank of Orange County. Funds will be used toward the goal of raising $8.5 million to restore a new food warehouse located on the former El Toro marine base that will eventually be the distribution point for food that will help to feed half a million hungry people in Orange County.

Hard to believe that in one of the wealthiest regions in America there are 400 charities that receive sustenance from the food bank each and every week.

One final footnote: Versace also generously donated 10% of the proceeds of all sales this past week to the relief efforts assisting Southern California residents who lost their homes in the wildfires.

So you want to be in show business? Who said, “It isn’t how well you can sign or dance, it’s who you know that counts.”

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