This week, it was Fashion with a healthy side of Philanthropy at Cipriani 42nd Street as Phoenix House held its annual Fashion Award Dinner. The 2016 event was a shockingly poignant one: What started with cocktails on a mild rainy night led to a near milestone fundraising effort… and a remarkably humble confession of addiction.
This year’s Fashion Award Dinner, Phoenix House’s largest annual fundraising event that honors leaders in the fashion, beauty, retail, and media industries, honored Marc Metrick (President of Saks Fifth Avenue), Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez (Co-Founders & Designers of Proenza Schouler) and Michael Clinton (President, Marketing & Publishing Director of Hearst Magazines).
While ‘fashion addict’ jokes abound, this annual event truly is an effort to raise funds and awareness for substance abuse and addiction. Notable attendees such as Kristina O’Neill, Magnus Berger, Lauren Santo Domingo, Jessica Diehl, Jen Brill, Sara Moonves, Andrew Rosen, Elizabeth Vargas, Stellene Volandes, Wen Zhou, Judd Crane, Nina Garcia, and Gabriela Hearst were on hand not only to applaud the honorees, but also to raise funds to benefit Phoenix House’s pioneering treatment and recovery programs.
And one honoree surprised the crowd by sharing his sincere story of addiction. Saks CEO Marc Metrick isn’t just on the board of Phoenix House out of corporate benevolence, but also because he acknowledges firsthand how the non-profit’s programs help those like him, addicts. Addiction is “…not a weakness; not a personality defect. It’s a disease. and if it’s not treated, then you can die. Treatment comes with the programs Phoenix House provides,” Metrick shared after detailing his struggles with alcohol.
Clearly thriving now after receiving the assistance he needed, Metrick paraphrased a popular quote to explain how he’s currently living his best life: “I can wake up every morning and do a million things; I just can’t do one.”
Phoenix House’s annual Fashion Award Dinners have raised approximately $1 million to help about 20,000 men, women and teens each year as they overcome addiction and begin new lives in recovery.
Images courtesy of BFA