Wednesday, October 13, 2010


October 12th, 8:30 PM-Fifth Avenue, NYC

Words/Images Judith Ecochard

With all the hype, narrow focus, thought provoking, one sided, accurate, misleading (depending on one’s viewpoint) ‘dialogue’ recently generated by the documentary “Waiting For Superman”--- about five students and their care givers, a few charter schools, teachers’ tenures, and a whole lot of failure/blame/finger pointing…

We thought it an honor to help celebrate the high achieving NYC public school students of the High School of Fashion Industries---and their incredible work--- all on display RIGHT NOW--- in a primo Saks Fifth Avenue window overlooking 49th street…

WHAT:  The winning designs---all terrific = modern, chic/handsome and functional carry-alls ---and all immensely coveted by attendees--- honored at a swank gathering on Saks’ sixth floor menswear department…co-hosted by the high end Italian wear brand Allegri.
Courtesy of Maurizio Bacci/Allegri: Michelle Alves, GianMaria Argentini General Manager Allegri, 
 Roberi di Mauro, Eric Jennings Fashion Director at Saks...and the WINNERS!

We got there too late to hear model Michelle Alves congratulate the HSFI winners of what must have been an intense competition …

But we did have a nice chat with Eric Jennings, Sak’s Fashion Director.

“I didn’t know there was a fashion high school in NYC,” he told us when we queried how the collaboration was nurtured…”let alone in my neighborhood.”

But Allegri and the HSFI approached the store…and it was a green light right away.

(FYI: Saks has always been very generous supporting worthy 501© 3s with Fifth Avenue window displays, executive hands-on help with hosting duties --- and valuable square inch event space, gratis…)

Naturally we asked Jennings what are the key Allegri pieces, available in a dedicated slice of the store---that male customers will want to add to their Fall wardrobes…

Their rainwear is phenomenal…. made with technical, performing fabrics.”

And handsome …the luxe quality was obvious to us. We review a lot of performance wear, and these modern classics---are truly sophisticated outerwear pieces, not just weatherproof garments.

For example…the polished, ¾ length raincoat is a perfect length for straphangers and car drivers alike…yet would easily do just fine over a tux. We cannot say that about most performance pieces we review. 

Great for travel too…

Women get their own---with flattering selections for sale on Saks 4th floor.

 Sak’s Eric Jennings also raved about Allegri’s sportswear line…
coming soon we hope.

We wrapped up our visit with one of our favorite guy pals, Robert di advisor to  HSFI---and one of the leading lights of the NYC fashion industry’s partnerships with this Big Apple high school.

“It started as a conversation,” he noted with regards to Allegri’s involvement, “…and it became a substantial full fledged program… acknowledged by the Department of Education.”

And we thought to ourselves…of course it was. This outpouring of talent and support belongs on movie screens too.


Green Bonus Points: 
Allegri "The Architects Of Fabrics" has used a naturally water repellent fiber from the Philippine plant called abaca- in the classic trench coats--- eliminating the need for chemical waterproofing.