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Despite last night’s snow and freezing temperatures, the Meatpacking District Improvement Association’s (MPIA) first annual Open Market Fundraiser saw an eager line of guests braving the icy weather to partake in the festivities. Much to the pleasure of partygoers, Highline Stages was transformed into a two-floor market, offering designer sample sales, gourmet food, and a spacious dance floor with live DJ sets by Leigh Lezark and DJ Nancy.
Hosted by designer Diane von Furstenberg and Theory CEO and founder Andrew Rosen, attendees were invited to experience the best of the Meatpacking District while perusing exclusive sales from designers like DVF, Helmut Lang, Theory, Vince, Trina Turk, Joie, HONOR, rag & bone, and Tory Burch. The Whitney Museum of American Art also made a temporary home within the makeshift market, selling art books and museum memorabilia to several interested guests.
When asked, von Furstenberg described the Meatpacking District as “a real neighborhood where people get together and get things done.” Her sentiments were reflected in the outpouring of support for the event. Complementary food and drink was provided by eighteen of the districts best-loved restaurants and bars, all whom happily helped their community by plying guests with delicious small plates and specialty cocktails.
Another highlight of the night was the silent auction. Guests clamored for prizes that ranged from tickets to some of New York Fashion Week’s most anticipated shows, to vacation and spa packages. A signed shoe from Christian Louboutin’s spring collection and a $5,000 rag & bone gift card were also up for grabs.
The Open Market is a fundraiser for the MPIA-a non-profit business alliance that acts as the collective voice of the Meatpacking District. The association is in charge of marketing for the community, oftentimes spearheading many of the clean up and beautification efforts in the area. Proceeds from the evening will be funneled back into the community, allowing MPIA to continue its efforts.
Although the fundraiser is in its first year, with the support of dedicated community members like von Furstenberg – who told Whitewall she considered herself “a godmother” of sorts to the Meatpacking district – the event will surely continue to grow.