Reiter could not be reached at press time, nor could representatives of Barneys and Istithmar.
DON'T SWEAT IT: When it comes to corporate sponsorships in fashion, nothing should surprise us anymore. Remember the box of Carefree Perfect Fit pantiliners tucked into the Tracy Reese gift bag of fall 2004? Or how about the time, the season prior, swimwear designer Rosa Chá sent Naomi Campbell down the runway with an Ortho Evra birth-control patch prominently displayed on her back? Still, the invite for tonight's Gen Art Styles 2008 show induced a few laughs — it pointedly declares Botox as the event's main backer. Even the honors have been renamed — Botox Design Vision Awards for accessories, ready-to-wear, men's wear. Could Gen Art, celebrating its 10th anniversary this year, been feeling, well, old? Or maybe it's the fact that, let's face it, the fashion flock and Botox make for agreeable bedfellows.
It turns out the sponsorship has more to do with Botox's use in combating hyperhidrosis, or excessive sweating, than maintaining a frown-free forehead. And there's a fashion angle here, naturally. "Hyperhidrosis really does affect your wardrobe," says Kara Saun. The "Project Runway" alum is national spokeswoman for "Project: Sweat Free," a joint venture between Gen Art and Allergan Inc., producer of Botox. "It affects the colors you wear, the fabrics. No one really wants to talk about it because it's embarrassing."
Cue to tonight's event, to be held at New York's Hammerstein Ballroom. "The partnership is all about raising awareness of excessive underarm sweating, the prevalence among women and the impact on fashion," a spokeswoman for Allergan Inc. noted in a phone interview with, presumably, a straight face. Pre-runway show, there will be a dermatologist on hand to answer questions, and a lucky few audience members might even get their names on the list for free consultations.