Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff held her luncheon in honor of The New York Women’s Foundation on December 17, 2019, at Omar’s Vaucluse at 100 East 63rd Street at 1 PM. This is an annual happening where Jean gathers her closest friends for one last hurrah before guests embark on their lengthy vacations.
First to arrive was Margo Catsimatidis, whose daughter and son, John, and Andrea, are now heading the family’s philanthropic endeavors. Margo and John, avid Trump supporters, can often be seen hanging out at the White House or Mar-a-Lago.
Trump campaign manager, Matt Rich, was also in attendance busy answering texts and phone calls before the festivities started along with fellow political expert Emmy-Winning TV host Rita Cosby. Cosby recently received the Order of Merit, one of the highest honors in Poland, from Polish President Andrzej Duda, and continues her hectic pace as she writes bestselling books and emcees dinners and charity events.
The crowd was also rejoicing in the recent marriage of Sharon Bush to financier Bob Murray. Bush had the glow of a newlywed and fondly discussed her Metropolitan Club extravaganza, where pastor Joel Osteen presided.
Another happy camper was Susan Gutfeund, who sold her Fifth Avenue duplex in September. The 12,000-square-foot space had more than 20 rooms and sprawling views of Central Park. The apartment which had been on the market since April 2016 at a starting price of $120 million went through several price cuts until Wall Street honcho Stanley Druckenmiller bought it.
Fellow philanthropists and friends of Gutfreund-Barbara Tober, CeCe Black, and Jackie Weld Drake, who are definite Francophiles, were deep in conversation for the duration of the afternoon discussing their charitable endeavors.
Also enjoying the food, wine and conversation were luminaries: Paola Bacchini, Ruth Miller, Nicole Salmasi, Maria Fishel, Cheri Kaufman, Gilda Sacasa, Pamela Morgan, Jane Scher, Lucia Hwong Gordon, and Patricia Shiah.
There were even some politicians in the mix- albeit from different parties- including Democratic Assemblywoman Rebecca Seawright and Republican Chele Farley-who is currently running for a seat in the House’s 18th Congressional District.
While Jean may have written a book about philanthropy, fashion is also at the forefront of her mind, as designers Victor dE Souza and Frederick Anderson, who are busy planning upcoming fashion shows, took time out of their busy schedules to join the crowd. De Souza, who works continuously, was clad in his signature Gucci uniform with hints of dE Souza thrown in.
Having recently completed a candy cane gown that Shafiroff wore to the Botanical Garden Winter Ball, attendees were congratulating dE Souza on the impeccably crafted garment. Anderson, another veteran in the fashion industry, had just arrived from his show in Paris and is busy designing a new collection.
Omar Hernandez, a close friend of Anderson’s and most ladies who reside on the Upper East Side, is a darling of the social set. He showed up a bit tardy to welcome the group who undoubtedly make up a significant portion of his clientele.
After cocktails and salad were served along with steak, chicken, and salmon, Jean welcomed the 57, mostly women, with a brief introduction providing the history of each person. There were undoubtedly those that needed no introduction, and chief amongst that group is legendary photographer Patrick McMullan.
McMullan is nearly as famous for his delightful social demeanor as he is for his superior work product. His greatest attribute remains his steadfast commitment to the democratization of picture-taking-he includes everybody regardless of their socioeconomic status. Moreover, his contagious enthusiasm for life and his profession adds to any environment he is shooting.
The same can be said of Ann Rapp, Lee Fryd, and Katlean De Monchy and the journalists from Lookonline who attended -all of whom take great pride in producing top-notch stories.
At close to 3:30 PM, after cookies and coffee had been served, many of the guests headed home or to other social commitments. Omar’s, which is primarily a nightspot, doesn’t get started until 9 PM and there were even a couple of Shafiroff attendees who were arriving later that evening to enjoy more revelry at one of the Upper East Side’s most well-known meccas.