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INTERVIEW: Laurie Girsky On The UJA-Federation Of New York Virtual Hamptons Trunk Show

Shakir Philippe

For more than a dozen years, UJA-Federation of New York has hosted the Hamptons Trunk Show, where hundreds of Hamptonites flock to shop, connect and raise money for UJA. This year, the show is a four-day virtual shopping experience to rival its big tent event, featuring more than 100 vendors selling designer clothing, jewelry, home goods, and more.

As always, twenty percent of the proceeds of all sales benefit UJA-Federation, which aids in the care of New Yorkers of all backgrounds and Jewish people everywhere. The 2020 iteration will launch on Monday, August 3 and be held through Thursday, August 6. Each morning at 11:00 a.m., the event will feature a live segment via Facebook Live that will be embedded on the Hamptons Trunk Show website, with trendsetters from the fashion world.

The segments will premiere on Monday with Katie Sands, Founder of lifestyle blog HonestlyKate and style host on Amazon Live, and Ramy Brook Sharp, Founder and creative director of Ramy Brook. On Tuesday, Stephanie Gottlieb, Founder and CEO at Stephanie Gottlieb Fine Jewelry, and Elizabeth Savetsky, Excessoriesexpert, will be featured. Wednesday will welcome Alex and Michael Toccin, Stylists to a T. Finally, on Thursday, Rebecca Minkoff, Co-founder and creative director at Rebecca Minkoff, and Jenna Rennert, Fashion & beauty expert, will join the Hamptons Trunk Show.

I spoke to Laurie Girsky, the Chair of UJA Women Division of UJA-Federation of New York that hosts the Hamptons Trunk Show.

Bravo on adapting to today's retail climate! How will the virtual trunk show differ from the in-person ones?

LG: The Hamptons Trunk Show has been a UJA fan favorite for more than a dozen years. While we can't gather in person this summer, we still wanted to give people the opportunity to shop for a good cause. So we've taken it from the tent to the net, making this meaningful shopping experience bigger and better and available to a wider audience.

Normally a one-day outdoor event, this year's virtual trunk show will span four days, showcasing different vendors each day —more than 100 highly curated vendors in total—so you can keep coming back and back and back. We've had 60-70 vendors in past years.

Another brand-new feature is the live daily segment with fashion trendsetters and influencers, who will be discussing a variety of topics such as current trends and fall fashions. Online or in person, we're always grateful for our participating vendors, and we are thrilled to welcome our guest speakers this year.

One thing that remains the same year after year is that 20 percent of the proceeds of all sales benefit UJA.

How many vendors will be featured a day, and what capacity will each of them have in showcasing their collection(s)?

LG: 25 - 30 vendors will be listed each day on the Hamptons Trunk Show website, along with links to their websites, where guests can shop their merchandise.

Is there anything else UJA-Federation of New York would like to express in terms of this event and the nonprofit as a whole?

LG: The trunk show marries the best of fashion and philanthropy. When vendors and trendsetters participate, they inspire people to give, thereby furthering UJA's mission to care for people in need. With funds raised at the trunk show this year, UJA can help meet the growing needs of vulnerable New Yorkers affected by the Coronavirus, including food insufficiency, emergency cash assistance, and shelter for individuals facing domestic abuse. To date, UJA has allocated more than $46 million in urgent Covid-19 relief.

To learn more, or register for free, visit www.ujafedny.org.

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