Today, Jeffrey Fashion Cares is a legendary fundraiser for causes including notable HIV charities; we look at the genesis of this unique event.
By Scott A. Kramer, LCSW-R
Jeffrey Fashion Cares was founded in Atlanta in 1992 (and later in New York in 2003) by Jeffrey Kalinsky, the fashion retailer extraordinaire whose Jeffrey boutiques expanded the Stateside popularity of brands like Gucci and Helmut Lang and helped turn the focus of Manhattan’s Meatpacking District from beef to beauty.
According to representative Caren West, the Jeffrey Fashion Cares events had their origin when Mr. Kalinsky “did a fashion show for free two years in a row in Atlanta, where his first store was located, and had a tremendous turnout both years. The second time he did it, he was still a gay man in the closet and came to the realization that it would be a great opportunity to do an event and charge for it and donate the money to AIDS charities.”
Jeffrey’s fundraising mission continued to expand from there. “The event started strictly as an AIDS benefit,” explains West. “Then in Atlanta it became an AIDS and breast cancer benefit, which it still is today. For the benefit in New York, Jeffrey Fashion Cares raises funds for respected charity organizations supporting LGBT civil rights, HIV prevention and research, and education for LGBT youth.”
This year’s New York event was held in April and raised hundreds of thousands of dollars for beneficiaries including ACRIA (AIDS Community Research Initiative of America), the Hetrick-Martin Institute (HMI) and Lambda Legal. The Atlanta event occurred in late August and benefitted The Atlanta AIDS Fund and Susan G. Komen, Greater Atlanta. Since its founding, Jeffrey Fashion Cares has raised over $11 million and sets itself apart from other fundraisers with an outstanding 90 percent of all proceeds going to right to the beneficiaries.
The events include luxury silent auctions, receptions followed by live auctions, and a runway show featuring Mr. Kalinsky’s style selections from designers such as: Lanvin, Celine, Christian Dior, Givenchy, Valentino, Saint Laurent Paris, Dries van Noten, Balenciaga, Christian Louboutin and Manolo Blahnik.
If you like the idea of enjoying a fabulous night of fashion for several good causes, learn how you can attend next year’s events at jeffreyfashioncares.com.
Last modified: January 22, 2018