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Project Angel Food's Divine Design sale is next weekend

November 27, 2009 |  4:30 pm
Angel-food-300-450 If you prefer to buy gifts that also give back, you may want to purchase an admission ticket to shop Project Angel Food's Divine Design sale. The annual event, now in its 17th year, features mini-boutiques of luxury fashion (Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth & James, Diane von Furstenberg, Seven for All Mankind) at sample sale prices with 100% of proceeds benefiting Project Angel Food.

Over two decades, Project Angel Food has delivered more than 6 million meals to those debilitated by AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. The organization, staffed mainly by volunteers, has expanded its reach to include those battling cancer and other diseases, with women making up 37% of clients. In 2008, Project Angel Food served nearly 600,000 meals to 2,340 people between the ages of 16 and 98.

This year, Divine Design kicks off its shopping days with a gala honoring as its Man and Woman of Style actress Christina Hendricks ("Mad Men's" Joan Holloway) and Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Elle magazine creative director Joe Zee is among others to be honored.

Kolb carries such clout in the industry that this year's Divine Design has brought in more than $6 million worth of donated apparel. (Last year it pulled in around $4 million.) Kolb also elicited an infusion of donations from newer CFDA members, such as Jason Wu and Gilded Age.
"I really made an effort and reached out individually to our membership," Kolb says. "When it's the end of the year and you have inventory that didn't sell, it's good for designers to get inventory off the books and do something really right."

While Kolb has brought in newer names, established designers have also upped the ante. That includes Marc Jacobs, who is donating more than 300,000 items to this year's sale. Tom Ford is donating 100 pieces from his eyewear collection.

For decades, the CFDA, through its philanthropic foundation, has raised funds to help those with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.

On Thursday, Divine Design kicks off with the gala, which is sold out. But there is also a VIP shopping party, from 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, complete with hors d'oeuvres, cocktails and music for $100 admission. General shopping days are Friday through Monday. Admission is $25, but you can download a coupon for $10 off at the Divine Design website. The events are all at the former Robinsons-May in Beverly Hills.

9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. General admission days: 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Monday. www.divinedesign.org

-- Max Padilla

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