Madison Avenue Types Wishing on ‘Chinese Proverb’

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John Demsey. Photo: Getty Images

In another sign of these jittery times, the city's overclass is getting superstitious. An e-mail chain letter, titled "Chinese Proverb," which promises good luck and money to those who pass it on within four days to twenty friends and bad luck to those who let it drop, was circulated by a surprising number of high-powered New Yorkers. Among those on the missive's chain were Saks Fifth Avenue president Ron Frasch, Estée Lauder group president John Demsey, defense attorney Barry Slotnick, fashion czarina Fern Mallis, artist Hunt Slonem, ABC News reporter Gigi Stone, CNN reporter Alina Cho, and Marissa Marchetto, wife of restaurateur Silvano Marchetto. The "Chinese Proverb" has a Rolodex like Peggy Siegel's! "It seems to have hit the entire fashion community," says Demsey. "When it first popped up on my BlackBerry, I freaked out and passed it on. But I didn't send it to twenty people; I took out a half-assed insurance policy." Cho was more by the book. "I forwarded it to twenty of my nearest and dearest. In this economy, we need all the luck we can get." Oh, uptowners, don't you read the Economist? Even China can't save us now.