11 Broadway-Inspired Tabletop Ideas From Diffa's Picnic By Design

Designers and companies created picnic baskets inspired by new and long-running Broadway shows for the seventh annual benefit.

By Ian Zelaya September 12, 2018, 7:15 AM EDT

Hunter Douglas and Patrick James Hamilton Designs created the display inspired by the Tony-nominated Mean Girls. The design featured a mini hot pink school locker, with items including a four-piece martini set from Tuscany Classics, Kate Spade cocktail shakers, and four pink and orange ombre placemats. Ramy Cosmetics provided cosmetics and makeup and brow-shaping gift certificates. The locker also included gift certificates to see the show and eat at Cafeteria in New York.

Photo: Erik Bardin

Diffa Picnic by Design
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Fall may be just around the corner, but there’s still a little more than a week left to plan an outdoor summer picnic. Diffa: Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS recently presented upscale picnic basket ideas at its annual Picnic by Design event. This year, the intricate baskets re-imagined a staple in New York culture: Broadway. 

The seventh edition of the fund-raiser, which took place September 5, featured more than 20 theatrical baskets created by designers and brands, each of which took inspiration from a specific Broadway show or the general theme of theater. Baskets and tabletops reimagined new shows such as Mean Girls and Frozen and long-running shows including Chicago The Musical and The Lion King. 

Held at the lounge and terrace at the Viacom building in Times Square, the event hosted more than 200 design industry guests who bid on the baskets. The event was a success, raising nearly $60,000 for the Diffa, which supports H.I.V./AIDS organizations across the country. Last year’s event raised just over $50,000.

This year’s event was co-chaired by David Rockwell, founder and president of the Rockwell Group, and Tom Viola, executive director of Broadway Cares and Equity Fights AIDS. Along with the baskets to bid on, the event also showcased an exhibition of images of the Imperial Theatre from the Shubert Archives and Rockwell Group’s model of the set design for Dirty Rotten Scoundrels. Event sponsors included the AIDS Healthcare Foundation, Brooklyn Brewery, Interior Design magazine, and Tito’s Handmade Vodka, which also had its own picnic basket.

Here’s a look at some of the eye-popping baskets inspired by shows including SpongeBob SquarePants, Summer: The Donna Summer MusicalDear Evan Hansen, and Mamma Mia!

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