WHO SAYS THE RICH ARE DIFFERENT? When San Francisco's cavernous Fashion Center became the ultimate bargain basement Sept. 18 to raise money for AIDS, it was every celebrity for himself. Never mind that the "creative black tie" called for on the invitations to 7th on Sale (named for the main drag in Manhattan's garment district) made it less seemly to push and shove. Never mind that the price of admission (between $250 and $1,000 for the 1,200 dinner guests and $125 for the thousand more who came late just to shop) sometimes made up for the drastic reductions on the merchandise.
Richard Gere made off with a Donna Karan V-neck pullover that retails for $600—a steal at $200. Too eager to wait for a dressing room, Sharon Stone tried on a Kathryn Dianos cream-colored dress right over the black sheath she was wearing but didn't buy it. Meanwhile such luminaries as Ali MacGraw, Edward James Olmos and I leather Locklear were tempted by plum deals like Ralph Lauren cashmere sweaters, normally $600, for only $100.
What with the bargains and a silent auction of 75 Levi's jackets decorated by the casts of Cheers, Beverly Hills 90210 and other celebs, nobody even missed poster girl Claudia Schiffer, who failed to show because of a scheduling conflict—not a rendezvous with Prince Albert of Monaco, as had been reported.
The point of the party was expressed poignantly by 11-year-old Joey Benko of San Francisco, who has AIDS. "The more people understand AIDS," he told the crowd, "the more people will understand me." In the name of treatment and cure, Gere's gal, Cindy Crawford, gave the invocation everyone in the room could understand. "Spend a lot of money!" she urged. Raising more than $2 million, they did.
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