SCHMOOZING: UJA HONORS ANDREW ROSEN, YEHUDA SHMIDMAN AND DANIELLA VITALE
Five hundred fashion executives raised $1.2 million for UJA-Federation of New York at the charity’s annual Fashion Division luncheon at the Pierre Hotel on Thursday, April 7. The event honored Andrew Rosen, founder and chief executive officer of Theory; Yehuda Shmidman, chief executive officer of Sequential Brands Group; and Daniella Vitale, chief operating officer and senior executive vice president of Barneys New York.
Among the fashion luminaries who attended the event were UJA-Federation Fashion Division Chair Gilbert W. Harrison of Financo, Vice Chair Larry Leeds of Buckingham Capital Management, Inc, Tim Baxter of Macy’s, Todd Kahn of Coach, designer Nili Lotan, Marc Metrick of Saks Fifth Avenue, Andrew Oshrin of Mill and designer Lisa Perry.
The afternoon’s emcee, former Barney’s creative director Simon Doonan, added a bit of humor to his introduction by showing off his mastery of Yiddish and sharing tales of his close connections to Jewish friends, many of whom helped him early on to establish a career. Doonan, who is married to Jewish interior designer Jonathan Adler, theorized that connections between Jews and gays are based on the fact that both communities are often considered outsiders and can therefore relate to each other.
In his presentation to Rosen, his longtime friend, designer Kenneth Cole noted that while Rosen does not flaunt his Jewish heritage, he lives by the traditional Jewish values of Tzedakah (charity) and Tikkun Olam (making the world better). In accepting the award, Rosen noted that his father and grandfather would be very proud of this award.
Lifestyle guru Martha Stewart added a touch of levity while presenting the next award to Shmidman, her partner at Sequential, and making the audience laugh with her tales about her first foray into kosher cooking for Shmidman and how much it’s costing her to keep separate sets of dishes for when he and his wife come to dinner (especially considering Martha’s many homes). In accepting the award, Schmidman spoke proudly about the UJA’s mission and the 4.5 million people around the world who benefit from their services. (He also said Stewart did an excellent job with her kosher meal!)
Finally, adorable twins Daniel and Lucca Vitale presented the award to their mom, Daniella, even suggesting that they “auction her off” to provide additional funding for UJA. Daniella spoke of their recent visit to an Ethiopian absorption center in Israel and about how UJA helps people in need, regardless of their background, race or religion.
For more information or to make a donation to UJA, visit www.ujafedny.org.