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NEW YORK They don't have as many swank soirees to go to any more, but New York's Web workers still know how to show up for a party. And this event--a cocktail party to celebrate the International Academy of Digital Arts and Sciences' Webby awards nominations--had a fashionable location, the Emporio Armani store on Madison Avenue. (The frock shop hosted the event because the company likes to be associated with emerging talent, its PR reps say.)
Guests entering the store found six models posing in Emporio Armani outfits being raffled off after the event. The actual party took over the fifth and sixth floors of the building, which normally house a cafe and the store's showroom. The Armani event staff put together a sleek look, with gray couches, blue lights, blue drinks and lots of votives in blue glass holders. One minor complaint: Armani's clothes are obviously very flattering, but the overhead florescent blue light in one area wasn't.
In the crowd we spotted event organizer Courtney Pulitzer, the founder of the Cocktails with Courtney networking events, who talked to us about the changing face of Internet industry events. With the fluctuating economy, the glam Armani set-up--once the norm--seemed odd. “This is unusual,” Pulitzer told us. “Most [parties] are pretty back to basics--the way parties were in 1996.”
No one was complaining, of course. But we did hear more than one person commenting on the contrast inherent in bringing all these tech folks into such a fashion enclave.