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Diffa's Casino Night for High Rollers

June 27, 2001, 12:00 AM EDT

Tommy Hilfiger and the Council of Fashion Designers of America hosted the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS' Casino benefit at Cipriani 42nd Street.

Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS Casino benefit Cipriani 42nd Street Wednesday, 06.20.01, 7 PM to midnight
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Cipriani 42nd Street was transformed into a sparkling, swank casino for the Design Industries Foundation Fighting AIDS' (Diffa) Casino benefit by Matthew David Events. Sasha Tcherevkoff of Paul Wilmot Communications' new special events division coordinated the event for sponsors Tommy Hilfiger and the Council of Fashion Designers of America (CFDA) (whose recent awards show we covered). Tommy Hilfiger model-of-the-moment Maggie Rizer--dubbed the “Queen of Hearts” for the event--played hostess to approximately 600 fashion, design and entertainment folks (including Vogue's Anna Wintour, Carmen Kass, Simon Doonan, Todd Oldham and Hilfiger himself) who gamed and bid on auction prizes to benefit Diffa.

(The casino theme has become something of a trend in recent months. This is the second fashion industry casino event we've seen, following Hugo Boss' flagship store opening. And it's also the second casino themed event we've covered at Cipriani: The first was Starwood Hotels' Roaring 20's sales event.)

Matthew David wrapped casino tables from Minnesota Fats with shiny fuschia taffeta table skirts, and small arrangements of roses, protea and orchids were placed throughout the room. Purple and magenta silk banquettes were set in front of the DJ booth and in the balcony above the silent auction area. The front entrance of Cipriani was decorated with tall arrangements of roses, protea, ti leaves, delphinium and orchids by David. Tall white columns covered with sheer white scrims were illuminated with a smattering of small, sparkling lights and gobos of the CFDA and Tommy Hilfiger logos by Bentley Meeker.

The silent auction area adjacent to the main event space looked like a vintage clothing and antique store exploded: Everything from extravagant furs, watches, designer dresses, rugs, sculpture and watches filled the small room.

--Suzanne Ito

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