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The Schmooze

Oscar De La Renta Fashion Show Benefits Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation

“This is our third [Samuel Waxman Cancer Research Foundation] ‘Collaborating for a Cure’ luncheon” event chair Marion Waxman told the assemblage of fashionable ladies at the impressive Upper East Side residence of Andrea Stark), the luncheon also honored Oscar de la Renta [who in 2014 died of cancer] with a fashion presentation showcasing the Oscar de la Renta house’s 2016 designs which were modeled for the benefit of the luncheon by a parade of stunning willowy [mostly] European models.

Marion Waxman informed: “This luncheon was created through the vision of [board member] Erica Feinberg who decided that the power of women is pretty fantastic…. You are all wonderful because when you buy these clothes and wear them…it’s about generosity and donating to a foundation whose mission is to cure cancer…. Dr. Waxman— In collaboration with other researchers around the globe —has helped find a cure for a rare leukemia which once had a 100% fatality rate but now has a 95 % survival rate….Recently Dr. Waxman and members of his lab made a major discovery concerning triple-negative breast cancer—an aggressive cancer that affects young women, Black women and Hispanic women.”

Image by Karen Leon

Dr. Samuel Waxman told the guests: “The foundation we have is incredibly unique—a great brain trust [with] other large entities…we partner with the National Cancer Institute.” He reported his collaboration with groups such as the Institute Without Walls. In its most recent report The Foundation notes: “ in the past ten years we’ve invested more than $22 million in cancer research; Since 1976 we’ve awarded $90 million to over 200 researchers.”

Among the guests—who dined on a spectacular buffet followed by devastating dessert offerings and “oohed” and “ahhed” as the stunning models paraded down Ms. Stark’s winding residence staircase — Jean Shafiroff, Consuelo Vanderbilt Costin, Ingeborg Rennert, Bernice Schwartz and Randi Schatz.

I had met Oscar de la Renta years ago and last spoke with him on May 26, 2010 at the “20th anniversary of “Black Alumni of Pratt Awards” at which he presented Pratt’s award to his wife Annette de la Renta[nee Mannheimer]. In making the presentation to Annette, he said: “The many reasons I love my wife [are] her love of friends, her love of animals, her love of nature, and her extraordinary sense of loyalty.” Annette de la Renta’s mother, Marie Annette Reiss, was the daughter of Hugo Reiss, a German-Jewish diplomat who served as Brazil’s consul in Shanghai.

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