Project Angel Food’s Divine Design sale turns 17

If you prefer to buy gifts that also give back, you may want to purchase an admission ticket to shop Project Angel Food’s Divine Design sale. The annual event, now in its 17th year, features mini-boutiques of luxury fashion (Marc Jacobs, Elizabeth & James, Diane von Furstenberg, Seven for All Mankind) at sample sale prices with 100% of proceeds benefiting Project Angel Food.

Over two decades, Project Angel Food has delivered more than 6 million meals to those debilitated by AIDS and other life-threatening illnesses. The organization, staffed mainly by volunteers, has expanded its reach to include those battling cancer and other diseases, with women making up 37% of clients. In 2008, Project Angel Food served nearly 600,000 meals to 2,340 people between the ages of 16 and 98.

This year, Divine Design kicks off its shopping days with a gala honoring as its Man and Woman of Style actress Christina Hendricks (“Mad Men’s” Joan Holloway) and Steven Kolb, executive director of the Council of Fashion Designers of America. Elle magazine creative director Joe Zee is among others to be honored.

Kolb carries such clout in the industry that this year’s Divine Design has brought in more than $6 million worth of donated apparel. (Last year it pulled in around $4 million.) Kolb also elicited an infusion of donations from newer CFDA members, such as Jason Wu and Gilded Age.


“I really made an effort and reached out individually to our membership,” Kolb says. “When it’s the end of the year and you have inventory that didn’t sell, it’s good for designers to get inventory off the books and do something really right.”

While Kolb has brought in newer names, established designers have also upped the ante. That includes Marc Jacobs, who is donating more than 300,000 items to this year’s sale. Tom Ford is donating 100 pieces from his eyewear collection.

For decades, the CFDA, through its philanthropic foundation, has raised funds to help those with HIV/AIDS and breast cancer.

On Thursday, Divine Design kicks off with the gala, which is sold out. But there is also a VIP shopping party, from 8 to 11 p.m. Thursday, complete with hors d’oeuvres, cocktails and music for $100 admission. General shopping days are Friday through Monday. Admission is $25, but you can download a coupon for $10 off at the Divine Design website. The events are all at the former Robinsons-May in Beverly Hills.

9900 Wilshire Blvd., Beverly Hills. 11 a.m. to 8 p.m. Friday through Monday.


Rebecca Minkoff Wednesday through Sunday: Handbag designer with a celebrity following is having a giant sample sale on totes, clutches, wallets and apparel priced at wholesale. Most of the handbags will be $250 and under.

7961 W. 3rd St., Los Angeles. (310) 550-7776. 10 a.m. to 8 p.m. Wednesday through Sunday.

Joie and Current/Elliott Friday and Saturday: Current and past season styles from popular L.A.-based labels will be selling for 70% off retail. A selection of Joie dresses, tops, bottoms, jackets and shoes plus Petit Joie children’s clothes and Current/Elliott jeans will also be available. Credit cards accepted.

4599 District Blvd., Vernon. (323) 277-3900. Noon to 7 p.m. Friday, 8 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.


William Rast The first store devoted to the contemporary clothing line for men and women by Justin Timberlake and Trace Ayala opened this month. The store carries T-shirts ($55), shirts ($85), denim jeans ($165) and leather jackets (from $525).

10250 Santa Monica Blvd., Los Angeles. (310) 553-5682. 10:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Friday, 10 a.m. to 9 p.m. Saturday, noon to 7 p.m. Sunday.


Alice + Olivia Toy Drive Thursday through Dec. 20: Trade in a children’s toy for 20% off an Alice + Olivia clothing item. Apply the discount to new holiday looks such as a black leather jacket ($496), detailed white skinny pants ($330), little black dress or sequin skirt ($396 each before discount). The affordable Alice + Olivia collection for Payless is also on offer. Toys will be donated to kids at the Eisner Pediatric Clinic in downtown L.A.

134 S. Robertson Blvd., L.A. (310) 247-0120. 11 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday through Saturday, 11 a.m. to 6 p.m. Sunday.