The Hearst Tower boasts many things—architectural splendor, eco-friendly operations, and a venerable portfolio of magazines, but what’s most impressive of all is the pristine view of the Manhattan skyline from the 44th floor. And Wednesday evening, the building’s top editors and a slew of designers, retailers and other notable insiders filled the space to fÃªte “Made in Italy: A Celebration of Italian Fashion and Style.” Hearst president Cathy Black and Dr. Aniello Musella of the Italian Trade Commission hosted the cocktail reception, which marked the official launch of the “Made in Italy” campaign. The “If You Speak Fashion, You Speak Italian” ads will appear in many of Hearst’s magazines. And while many in attendance don’t speak a word of Italian, ordering a Bellini to go with their Gucci is never a problem!
Though guests were in a decidedly New York state of mind, a love of all things Italiano prevailed. “This city has a strong Italian influence,” said Dr. Musella. “The Italian flag even waves outside this building.” Marie Claire’s editor-in-chief Joanna Coles chatted about her favorite shopping spots in Milan, while Nina Garcia shared her love of pasta. Designers like Brian Atwood, whose Milan studio always draws a crowd of admirers, Derek Lam, Erin Fetherston and Rachel Roy all added to the creative spirit, while Harper’s Bazaar’s Glenda Bailey, and Town & Country’s Pamela Fiori mingled with guests. A very pregnant Padma Lakshmi chatted extensively with Garcia and Roy, perhaps getting advice on how to be a fabulous and fashionable mom. Amidst the sunflower décor and antipasti stations we also spotted Avril Graham and Gossip Girl’s Kelly Rutherford looking quite chic.
After imbibing a glass of vino with friends and taking in the campaign, which features the Spanish Steps and Coliseum in Rome, we contemplated heading to JFK for an Alitalia flight, but that will have to wait for another day. Salute! ~Nola Weinstein