“It’s not just a party and it’s not just a fundraiser,” Jeffrey Kalinsky, luxury footwear expert and eponymous boutique owner, told DuJour on Tuesday night at his namesake event, Jeffrey Fashion Cares. This year, the 10th time Kalinsky has held the fundraiser in New York City, the city’s best-dressed braved the cold and again boarded the distinguished USS Intrepid to raise awareness for the LGBTQ community and people living with HIV/AIDS – and watch a risqué fashion show.
Although Kalinsky first established Fashion Cares 21 years ago in Atlanta – and has held 29 other events in two different cities since – he is still modest about its success: “I’ve never gotten used to it,” Kalinsky said, “I still get very nervous as if it’s the first time. I just want everything to go well!”
And well it went. The evening began with a silent auction, featuring designer items from Hermès, Alexander Wang, Balenciaga, Stella McCartney and Proenza Schouler. Following the auction, guests took their seats in eager anticipation of the runway show. “I love a great fashion show,” gushed Broadway legend Jerry Mitchell, who was presented with the Community Leadership Award later that evening by his long-time friend Cyndi Lauper (the two are pictured together at right), “I’m expecting to see a lot of flesh.”
The all-male show, cast with some of the industries most respected faces, has a reputation for baring it all – literally. The evening’s Naeem Kahn-clad host, Emmy Rossum (left) of Showtime’s Shameless, reiterated her enthusiasm for the show’s racy tradition: “I’m really, really looking forward to the runway show and the male models,” said Rossum, “I haven’t seen any of the looks, but I’m hoping they’re rather bare.”
Regrettably, Kalinsky informed, “This is the most covered up that the boys have ever been! There will be no stripping tonight… that I’m aware of.” But, with a cause this important, no one left disappointed.