Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Bianca Gascoigne

As dinner commenced, Lanvin designer Alber Elbaz introduced Howard Socol, praising him for his personal approach and ability to inspire a family-like spirit in the company. Every year for the past seven years, said Elbaz, when he visited Barneys stores in New York and L.A. for semi-annual trunk shows, he always saw the same sales associates working the floor. "When I see the same people still there, I see longevity, loyalty and happy people loving what they are doing," said Elbaz.

"You need to be cool and you need to have commerce," said Socol about his philosophy for the store. "Listen to the suits," was Socol's advice to the new graduates. "They will help you be successful and flourish. And to the suits: Being cool, creative, artistic, that always wins out."

CNN anchor Anderson Cooper introduced Diane von Furstenberg. Cooper, whose mother is designer Gloria Vanderbilt, characterized von Furstenberg as the epitome of "strength, glamour and mystery." Describing an experience he'd recently had hiking with her, said von Furtsenberg "hikes as she does all things - fearlessly. Her body slants forward as if wanting to meet the future first."