“Hey, babe—take a walk on the wild side.”
Lou Reed probably didn’t mean selling luxury East 29th Street condos in 2009. But as the song drifted through a model unit at Wednesday night’s “WIN WIN WIN Networking Event,” risky choices in Manhattan had never sounded so appealing.
Held at Twenty9th Park Madison and sponsored by the Association of Real Estate Women Charitable Fund, the evening’s centerpiece was a silent auction of Jes Wade clothing to benefit Women in Need. Perhaps more importantly, though, the event provided a look at current development—and the way that the industry is trying to fete that development in a changed economic climate.
More than 70 percent of the units at Twenty9th Park Madison have been sold so far.
Andres Hogg, general manager of Spanish developers Espais, called the event a chance to “share our success story with the industry.” Besides, he said, the low-key elegance of a fashion collaboration reflected the Espais touch. “We’re Europeans; we try to be stylish,” Mr. Hogg said. “Not that Americans aren’t stylish.”
Designer Jes Wade said that her goal for the presentation, which featured models in her garments stationed throughout the apartments, was to “create intrigue,” since the space is “like a maze.”
“I’ve done presentation before, but it’s never been this relaxed,” said a model lounging in one of the bedrooms—sitting in bed with a box of chocolates, she noted, beats standing in four-inch heels. Her tableau was the least whimsical. Elsewhere, colleagues painted (to the strains of “Walk on the Wild Side”), or looked out a telescope, or played chess. One read “The Tale of Peter Rabbit” aloud to a collection of stuffed animals.
Charitable Fund co-chair Madelyne Kirch said the organization expected over a hundred people, and hoped to raise several thousand dollars for WIN. Ms. Wade listed retail values above $1,000 for each of the three looks, but about a half-hour before the party ended, the high bid in the silent auction was $400.
AREW vice president Rebecca Mason said that an event like Wednesday’s “really brings people together”—they want to network, and a $20-a-head benefit gives them the chance to do so for a low cost. Wild or otherwise, Ms. Mason said, “I think that’s what we’re going to be seeing for the next year or so.”