Last night at Fifth Avenue’s three-story Gucci behemoth, the heels were treacherously high, the paparazzi were out in full force, the fur-lined suede coats were not on sale (but yours for just $5,960)—it felt like 2006!
The crowd was there to celebrate a new line of Gucci products that benefit UNICEF; the singer Rihanna stars in the ad campaign and was the evening’s host (though after a brief appearance in the women’s department, she departed with her bodyguard and entourage of seven for a private dinner in the Oak Room at the Plaza). Ugly Betty star Becki Newton and hubby Chris Diamantopoulos were both clad in head-to-toe Gucci and Ms. Newton was star-struck over Rihanna‘s (brief) presence.
"I’m still hung up on ‘Umbrella’," she said.
"She dances around the apartment singing it," said Mr. Diamantopoulos (who met Ms. Newton in the Times Square subway station).
"I know that everyone’s moved past that song and there are a bunch of new songs, but I can’t get over that one," said Ms. Newton.
Was anyone here worried about the economy?
"Well it’s so ironic to have that discussion here in the Gucci store on Fifth Avenue," said Ms. Newton. "Sacrifice when you’re among beautiful bags and beautiful clothes …"
"We try to always be aware of what’s going on and just be smart," said Mr. Diamantopoulos.
"As two actors, in a business that ebbs and flows, in an economy that ebbs and flows, I think we’re just trying to be as careful as possible," echoed Ms. Newton.
"We’re just aware of how lucky we are," said Mr. Diamantopoulos. "It’s ridiculous. When you really consider what’s happening …"
Nearby, towering Russian Gucci mannequin Natasha Poly said that even the supermodel business had been anemic lately.
"It’s affecting everybody in the world," she said. "I heard a lot of things like the sales being down. We are like everybody else. My friends who are just starting out, they’re really worried. If you’re not there yet, it’s hard to get job."