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FOR A CAUSE: “As a mother of a child, it’s one of the biggest fears that I could have,” said Catherine Malandrino. She was speaking of human trafficking, an issue she has taken to heart.
On May 1 at Malandrino’s store at 652 Hudson Street in New York, 150 guests came to support Stop the Trafficking of People and Celhia de Lavarene, founder of STOP and author of “Un Visa Pour L’enfer” (“A Visa to Hell”). She was with French ambassador François Delattre, who gave an impassioned speech on fighting human trafficking. Also present were Alexis Stoudemire, Haim Dabah, Macy’s fashion director Nicole Fischelis, Ghislaine Maxwell, Baron Bich of the Bic pen business, Montgomery Frazier, Tracy Stern, Susan Shin, Andres Serrano and Russian celebrities Sergei Brilev and Olga Krutoy. De Lavarene is now raising money for rescue centers for girls and women who escape sex traffickers so they have a place to go and are not back on the streets. Malandrino took in more than $120,000 in sales on the evening, of which 20 percent will be donated to STOP.
“Celhia is a fighter. She’s rescued hundreds of kids,” Malandrino said. “This is a worldwide problem including America and France, not just Third World countries. I was so happy to see so many women who came to my store, not just to shop but really to support the cause.”