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Super Saturday Supporters Keep Cool Looking For Big Bargains

Originally Posted: August 04, 2009

Andrea Aurichio

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Gayle King shops Super Saturday with Tommy Mottola and his wife Mexican singer and Telenovela superstar, Thalia, stopping to chat near the Vera Wang booth at the back of the field. Photos by Andrea Aurichio

Water Mill - The sun was hot and the air was thick with promise as shoppers hit the field at high noon at the start of Super Saturday 12 held at Nova's Ark Project on Millstone Road in Water Mill.

A vendor sits under am umbrella to ward off the hot sun as shoppers roam the field looking for a great buy - an experience one onlooker described as "shopping in Calcutta."

The event, billed as one of the world's greatest garage sales is actually held on a field under the blazing sun to bargain shop designer goods at deep discounts with an admission fee of $650. This price of admission will get you in the gate at the stroke of 12 noon giving you a 60-minute headstart on the rest of the shoppers who hit the field at 1 p.m. Those poor souls paid $450 for their tickets. You can bring children with you for $150 a ticket provided they are over five years-old. Younger children are admitted free.

Children rarely shop of course but there are rides and games for them out in the open, albeit, sweltering great outdoors. Do not let the heat deter you from supporting this good cause. The event, underwritten by designer Donna Karan since its inception in 1998, funnels all of the afternoon's proceeds to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund (OCRF).

This year, despite some concern about the economy, the event pulled in an $3.4 million. The amount is just $300,000 shy of last year's 2008 total of $3.7 million.

"Everyone is pleased with the results," Christine Pasqueralle of Misher Public Relations said on Monday morning after the field, once filled with folding banquet tables and Tiki-hut inspired umbrellas, was empty again - save for the deer and the rabbits that usually inhabit the space.

Cashiers kept cool in the shade of their canopy cover while a fan whirled away behind them, ringing up $3.4 million in sales.

Shoppers arrived early and stayed late - many taking advantage of the last minute desire of vendors to slash prices even more to move their merchandise. QVC gave the event a boost too, when they started broadcasting from the site selling merchandise on the air from 2 p.m. to 4 p.m.

A buffet lunch was provided by Sant Ambroeus Restaurant of Southampton. A steady stream of shoppers made their way into the tent where tables could be had for $2,500 each. Donnie Deutch had a table as did fashion model Christy Turlington Burns. A stroll around the tent revealed the extent of the community's support for the event.

Shoppers roam the field search for a great buy at more than 150

Super Saturday was started by Karan, the late Liz Tilberis, and Faith Kates Kogan. Tilberis was at the height of her career as Editor-in-Chief of Harpers Bazaar when she was diagnosed with ovarian cancer. Tilberis waged a very public battle with the illness before the disease claimed her life. Her struggle served to increase awareness of the need for research and ultimately a cure. Tilberis, a pronounced Brit often referred to in publishing circles as a "tea bag" from the United Kingdom, spent her weekends and summers in the Hamptons with her family for several years.

For shoppers who have trouble foreseeing the future while they decide if they need the brown pumps more than the black pumps because you never know where you are going to go, or what you are going to need, agonize no more - a psychic reading with Betsy Wahmann will help you find your way. One prediction easy to foresee on Super Saturday is a day filled with successful shopping.

Everyone agreed sweltering hot sun trumps a rainy day anytime, especially when that day is Super Saturday. The event is one of the Hamptons most popular fundraisers.

Kids were not overlooked this year either as a full day of planned activities was provided at Camp Divalysscious. The camp was under a tent at the breezy end of the field where the wind was not blocked by vendor's booths. The camp went green this year. Kids were given a chance to make sa'mores, decorate flower holders and paint recycled eco-friendly tote bags. There was a small Merry-Go-Round on the field along with a jumping gym, and the kids seemed to love both.

There were some adult diversions too, in addition to the psychic reader. Shoppers could treat themselves to a manicure or get a pedicure at SoulCycle's Salon. You could buy a super Orek vacuum cleaner here too, at a deep discount. The booth drew large crowds all day.

Kids just want to have fun.

The diva moms and super pops could roam the field snagging outrageous Donna Karan Urban Zen attire at her booth, were dresses that sell for $1,295 could be had for $250. The field was filled with Versace, Gucci, Calvin Klein, Brooks Brothers, Talbots, Ellie Tahari and more. Hats, scarves, watches, handbags, shoes and socks, sheets and towels were on display, all at drastically reduced prices.

Experienced shoppers hovered around the mirrors near the booths as they slipped off their beach cover-ups and stood on the grass in their bathing suits ready to try on their selections despite the heat. Who can resist a discount especially a deep, deep discount on a designer dress by the likes of Carmen Marc Volvo. Its hot, hot, hot!

Super model Chirstie Turlington Burns reserved a table in the air-conditioned tent along with Kelly Rika and other celebrities who took a lunch break to cool off.

The celebs turned out too to walk the red carpet. Blake Lively, a "Gossip Girl" with event sponsor made the scene with host Ariex Foxman. Lively looked cool, calm and collected as she strutted her stuff in a skin tight white spandex skirt topped with a man tailored blue and white stripped shirt. Kudos to Blake who stepped lively on the grassy field in her five inch brown stiletto heeled pumps. Way to go.

"Real Housewives of New York City" star and Hamptons regular Bethany Frankel walked the red carpet with a cute little camera shy pouch who waited patiently at the end of the leash while the photogs got their shots. Frankel was turned out in a tight little navy blue denim romper. She was wearing an enormous floppy red canvas hat. Her Mini bearing her Skinny Girl logo on its side door was parked a few yards away from the red carpet area.

Television star Mariska Hargitay walked the carpet in a short white shirt dress. She waved and smiled and left. "Thank you," she said with a smile as she made a fast exit towards the air-conditioned tent.

The highlight of the day never happened as press photographers, some of whom took time to do some shopping of their own, sat in the shade in front of the red carpet as the afternoon drew to a close. They were waiting for Rihanna, the internationally famous Barbadian singer, model and beauty queen.

"I don't think she's coming," Gayle King, of Oprah Winfrey fame said as she strolled past the photographers stopping to chat with the assembled group who she clearly knew. "I'll be right back," King said, waving her shopping bags, "I'm just going to put this in my car." King was wearing a bright blue sundress and sensible shoes like a Super Saturday pro.

Volunteers end a hard's day work by going shopping as prices hit rock bottom before vendors start to pack up their merchandise.

King's take was informative. "I don't think she's coming," King said as she contemplated the heat, the late afternoon hour and the dwindling press corps with its members wilting in the heat while they sat waiting.

The highlight of the late afternoon shifted as everyone discussed their Super Saturday great deals impressed by King's warmth, professionalism and personality. It was time to get out of the hot sun and head off in search of cold drinks.

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Guest (JUDY) from SOUTHAMPTON says::
Aug 6, 2009 2:28 pm


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