At Burberry, Sashaying Socialites Shop for a Cause

The seemingly ubiquitous Manhattan socialite Fabiola Beracasa stepped out of the elevator at the third floor of Burberry‘s 57th Street flagship store about 7:30 last night wearing a knit top under a zig-zag print dress and elbow-length black patent-leather gloves.

She was a co-host of a party taking place at the store after hours, benefiting New Yorkers For Children, a charity that raises money for children in foster care. These kinds of parties–ones that pair upscale brand names with charities for the down-at-heel, are nearly as ubiquitous as Ms. Bercasa.

And, aside from a short speech by Susan Magazine, the charity’s executive director, thanking Burberry’s for forking over 15 percent of their sales receipts during the party to her organization, there was little sign that anything but a regular party was going on.

A modelesque D.J. named Sky Nellor played some recent dance-floor classics while professional models in Burberry clothers wandered around the party, chaning outfits and periodically striking runway poses. Guests, including Stephanie LeCava, Maggie Betts, Davney Mercer, Lydia Fenet, Debbie Bancroft, Dani Stahl, Dori Cooperman, Lauren Remington Platt, Serena Nikkah, Tiffany Doobin, Susan Shin, Vanessa von Bismarck, Paul Johnson Calderon and Shirin von Wulffen mingled in the aisles washing down smoked salmon and mini grilled cheese sandwiches with Champagne, non-alcoholic “mojito refreshers” and pink gin cocktails with blackberries floating in them.

“I think people are finding angles to exploit whatever they want to exploit much more through these benefits,” said Ms. Bercasa of these corporate charity-partners like Burberry. “But having that said, it’s still raising awareness for the cause, and that’s what matters.”

“I think pairing up with recognizable brands and things of popular culture interest is something that is really the direction in which charities have gone,” she continued, “because popular culture reaches the masses, and that’s kind of the key.”

Ms. Beracasa is listed as co-hostess of the party with a fashionable set, and indeed New Yorkers For Children is a fashionable board: Allison Aston, Adelina Wong Ettelson, Zani Gugelmann and Marisa Brown were all signed on–and all wore Burberry to the fete. (Ms. Beracasa admitted a slight indiscretion to the Transom in the form of her Fendi bag.)

A fall gala benefit last month, held at 583 Park and attended by Mayor Bloomberg, Mel Brooks and first daughter Barbara Bush, raised 1.95 million dollars for the charity, Ms. Magazine told the assembled pretties.

Later this month, Ms. Beracasa will fly to China, where she will be a guest at Karl Lagerfeld’s Fendi fashion show atop the Great Wall.

A source told The Transom that while the Burberry receipts of last night’s party wouldn’t be in for a while, they probably wouldn’t amount to much.

At Burberry, Sashaying Socialites Shop for a Cause