The Charge (and How!) of the Socialite Brigade: a Fashion Avenue Aids Benefit Becomes Seventh (on Sale) Heaven
To triumph, shoppers had to know the rules of the game—she who tags it, bags it. So Diane von Furstenberg ceded a $900 (originally $3,500) Oscar de la Renta foxtrimmed bolero jacket to Ivana Trump. But best-dressed perennial Nan Kempner wasn't as giving when it came to a $32 hat. Miffed that the fruit-bedecked Badoglio straw number she had put on hold had disappeared, Kempner located it atop designer Malee Chompoo. When Kempner plucked it off her head, Malee's partner-husband, Kazuyoshi Hino, challenged Kempner—whereupon she slapped him. "It was my first reaction," Nan explained.
In the three days following the kickoff dinner, 13,500 seasoned shoppers paid $10 (good for 2½ hours) to compete for 80,000 items donated by designers and department stores. The charitable result: more than $4.5 million raised for the New York City AIDS Fund. For those who braved the lines outside the 69th Regiment Armory, the payoff was a crack at such steals as a $10,000 gold-sequined Chanel jacket for $500. "I got four shopping bags full, I was so hysterical," said Pat (Mrs. William F.) Buckley. 'it's all for such a good cause. And I love a bargain. Doesn't anyone who usually buys retail?"