Rachelle and Joe Friedman
To Benefit Cancer Kids
Story and Photos by Tim Boxer
HE Michael Awards, known as the Oscars of fashion, is a much anticipated event in New York. The 11th annual production honored the brightest and newest movers and shakers in the world of fashion and modeling.
“Clothes make the man and clothes make the woman,” said emcee Hal Sparks. “On my show, sometimes both.”
Ilona Rich and Steve Shor
This year’s celebration honored Rachelle Friedman of as person of the year. Her J&R Music/Computer World was damaged on 9/11, but she and husband Joe dusted themselves off, cleaned out the debris from their block long high tech emporium, and reopened to wide acclaim.
The Friedmans did more than anyone else in resuscitating Lower Manhattan. “We were determined to bring Downtown Manhattan back to what it was on September 10.”
In fact, Rachelle and Joe brought New York back better than it ever was.
Pat O’Brien of NBC’s Access Hollywood, cited as best dressed man, said he spent a day at Ground Zero. “The best dressed people in the world are the firemen and policemen.”
Among those also honored were womenswear designer Jill Stuart, accessory designer Dooney & Bourke, childrenswear designer Gymboree, supermodel Alek Lemons.
In introducing singer Andy Roda of Virgin Records, emcee Sparks said, “He’s an up and coming virgin…I mean, Virgin recording artist.”
After Roda sang I’ll Treat You Like a Lady, Sparks couldn’t help himself, but murmured, “After those high notes, you might be a virgin.”
It was a fun evening at New York’s Hammerstein Ballroom.
Lee Grant was prepared to present the Lifetime of Style Award to Diahann Carroll. Carroll was in L.A. filming an WB series, The Court, playing a Supreme Court justice.
“Diahann says when you’re between 35 and death, you get offered a plum role, you grab it,” Grant said.
Sigourney Weaver and Vincent Longo presented a Lifetime Achievement Award to Maury Hobson.
“When I started,” Hobson said, “models did their own hair and makeup. I put a stop to that.”
Nicole Miller presented Best New Designer of the Year Award to talented Ilona Rich, daughter of songwriter Denise Rich.
Ilona, who has three sons, is pregnant with her fourth child. Mazel tov!
Steve Shor is producer of the Michael Awards, which benefits the National Children’s Leukemia Foundation. He lost his son 10 years ago to this dreaded disease, and has labored tirelessly ever since to help find a cure through the efforts of NCLF.