On Monday, Jean Shafiroff invited 62 of her nearest and dearest friends to her annual Holiday Luncheon. It was held at Restaurant Perrine in the Pierre Hotel this year. You can be sure of one thing: behind all of Jean’s events, there is a charity it is benefiting. At every place setting, there was a printed note saying, “A donation in your honor will be made to the New York Women’s Foundation.”
As one would expect, everyone was in a festive mood, and like Jean, who was wearing a floral printed dress from the Oscar de la Renta Pre Spring 2022 collection, they dressed in festive attire. The eclectic guest list was a true New York cross-section, representing the worlds of politics, publishing, fashion, entertainment, law, music, society, philanthropy, real estate, public relations, and more. There was even a “Real Housewives of New York City” in the crowd (Ramona Singer).
Among the notable guests were Rebecca A. Seawright, representing the Upper East Side, Yorkville, and Roosevelt Island in New York’s 76th Assembly District, and the Honorable Carolyn B. Maloney dressed in a chic tweed coat in shades of red, white, and blue. Carolyn told me that she bought the Versace coat for the 2021 Presidential Inauguration.
Lucia Hwong Gordon is a fashion-loving composer and instrumentalist who has created music for theater, film, television, dance, and the concert stage. She was bedecked in a pearl-encrusted Balmain jacket and pants ensemble, accessorized with a matching pearl headband. Susan Gutfriend wore a sculptural black and white Ralph Rucci jacket, and Ann Van Ness was a study in Chanel.
Michele Herbert, whose former husband Larry Herbert founded, and was chairman of the world-renowned Pantone Color Matching System, came dressed in vibrant blue, not “Very Peri,” a vibrant periwinkle that is Pantone’s Color of 2022.
There were fashion designers Regina Kravitz and Victor dE Souza, with whom Jean often collaborates. Frederick Anderson, R. Couri Hay, David Hochberg, Alex Hammer, and Look On Line’s publisher Ernest Schmatolla were some of the other guys on hand.
The wonderful three-course lunch began with roasted beets and goat cheese salad, followed by Spring Chicken or Roasted King Salmon with Beluga lentils and artichoke puree. Ever wonder how Jean manages to keep her svelte figure even though she attends many parties? She hardly sat down and most probably never ate one bite of her food, as she was table hopping and seemed more concerned about her guests.
During one of her speeches, Jean referred to the packed and spirited event as “controlled chaos”. She explained that she chose Restaurant Perrine in the Pierre Hotel because the famed hotel is where she and Marvin got married almost 30 years ago.
Also, during a recent and extensive renovation of her Park Avenue apartment, they made the Pierre their home away from home. Jean could not be more effusive about how wonderful the staff was and how safe she felt; there was a security guard on every floor. Jean welcomed everyone, but she gave shout-outs to a few people.
One of them was “mover and shaker” L. Marilyn Crawford, a Brand Architect whose clients include Beyonce, Sean John Combs (P. Diddy), and Serena Williams. Another was fellow philanthropist Susan Taylor who served as editor in chief of Essence from 1981 through 2000. In 1994 American Libraries referred to Ms. Taylor as “the most influential black woman in journalism today.”
As founder of The National CARES Mentoring Movement, Susan is now very involved with mentoring. Jean also welcomed a ‘new’ face to the crowd: Patricia Silverstein, whose family, Silverstein Properties, rebuilt One World Trade. FYI, Patricia is so tall, and I think she towers over One World Trade, lol!
Several guests toasted Jean, thanking their host for her generosity and kindness. As Jean said, “It’s better to be a giver than a taker,” and that is indeed how she lives her life.