S.L.E. LUPUS FOUNDATION
Gloria Steinem Hailed As Hero
Who Lunch At The Plaza
HE feminist icon Gloria Steinem,
longtime champion of women’s rights and equality, was a special
guest at the S.L.E. Lupus Foundation’s fifth annual New York Bag
More than 300 ladies who
lunch gathered at New York’s Plaza Hotel to bid in a silent
auction of 150 exquisite handbags from 50 top designers in
support of the foundation’s mission to further lupus science and
support services for an autoimmune disease that affects
Matilda Raffa Cuomo,
former first lady of New York State, and opera legend Jessye
Norman, served as honorary co-chairs of the luncheon. Ms.
Norman said she’s been attending this function since its
Jamie Peretz, who
served as luncheon co-chair along with Brett Heyman, Carol
Weisman, Cindy Saxman Margulies, Linda M. Plattus and
Diane Plaut, said she’s "going slightly off script and
kicking off my shoes. My feet are so swollen! I was diagnosed
with lupus as a college freshman. While others were busy
figuring out what parties to attend or sororities to join, I was
too tired. All I wanted to do is get back to my dorm and my bed.
I also suffer from kidney disease and last year I even had a
Alexandra Wilkis Wilson
was ecstatic: "I met one of my childhood heroes at this luncheon
five years ago, Madonna, and today I met another
childhood hero, Gloria Steinem."
Ms. Wilson and a
colleague, Alexis Maybank, founded the Gilt Groupe, a
one-billion-dollar startup that brings sample sales online. They
described their viral phenomenon in By Invitation Only: How
We Built Gilt and Changed the Way Millions Shop. Every lady
at the fundraiser got a copy of this amazing book, even if she
didn’t buy a bag.
"They told me to talk
about fashion and lupus," Ms. Wilson said. "How do I do that?"
The entrepreneur found a
way: "Lupus is a young woman’s disease. I have three people in
my life who are near and dear to me and suffer from lupus. They
look just as beautiful as ever, but I know on the inside they
are going through something very terrible. Feeling good and
looking good are important to everyone. People with a chronic
disease, like lupus, probably want that even more. Fashion has
an uplifting feeling."
She added that
entrepreneurs usually have three things—hope, faith and vision.
"I see these traits in my friends with lupus. I see these traits
as a gift."
With that Ms. Wilson
offered some top fashion tips for spring 2013: black and white,
graphic prints, floral prints, bright colors, leather, statement
sunglasses, stripes, polka dots and sporty dresses.