Even a cameo from Brooke Shields — a.k.a Hannah Montana’s mom — couldn't distract eagle-eyed shoppers on the Bowery Saturday afternoon at Mary Alice Stephenson's Glam4Good pop-up shopping spree, organized for Lower East Side families affected by Superstorm Sandy.
A hundred girls had been invited from the Lower East Side Girls Club, but more than 200 showed up. When they arrived, the 5-to-18-year-olds were immediately handed two large white shopping bags and invited to fill them up with everything from new leather jackets to gold Alexis Bittar bracelets, all of which had been donated by fashion brands. As the families entered the crisp gallery, it was like fiercest sample sale in town, except everything was free.
“Normally the little kids will get very interested in me,” Shields joked. “But shopping is so much more important. One little girl looked at me and she said, ‘Are you Hannah Montana’s mom?’ And I said ‘Yes,’ And she screamed and threw her arms around me. Then she went back to shopping within a second.”
Guests pored over racks lined with DKNY cocktail dresses, Jason Wu pumps, Calvin Klein coats, Prabal Gurung scarves, and — perhaps the biggest attraction — Hello Kitty backpacks, which were limited to one per family. They were allotted about five minutes per display and then encouraged to keep moving to make room for more shoppers. In between, they could pick up perfume and sunglasses, or have their nails and make-up done.
J’Naire Rogers came with her daughters, Shandra, 10, and Cheryl, 8, who were members of the Girls Club. Their apartment had been flooded with several feet of water and they still don't have gas. “We couldn’t cook for Thanksgiving; we won’t be able to cook for Christmas,” Rogers told the Cut, seeming upbeat. “This was more so about getting out and making the girls feel beautiful and glamorous. They got purses and shirts and jewelry and they got their nails done. It was awesome.”
Since the hurricane, Stephenson — who is a beauty and style expert that’s worked with Ashley Greene, Jennifer Lopez, and Sarah Jessica Parker — has been involved in a variety of post-Sandy recovery efforts. She held a pop-up two weeks ago for 100 families from the Rockaways, and will work on a similar event next weekend for 1,000 families in Staten Island. “First, we went in with tampons, batteries, Depends, and now they will be pampered,” Stephenson says, before adding seriously: “I know the healing power of a sparkle.” Click ahead for photographs from the event, along with lots of smiling young faces.