The Crowd: Celebration of Henry Segerstrom goes East Coast
Andy Russell of PBS SoCal and Neil Shapiro of WNET NYC were among 300 VIP guests at Carnegie Hall dinner remembering Henry T. Segerstrom.(Gonzalo Marroquin)
A bit of West Coast style invaded the East Coast vibe with the New York City premiere screening of the documentary “Henry T. Segerstrom: Imagining The Future.”
It was presented at the Directors Guild of America’s New York headquarters by Elizabeth Segerstrom, wife of the late retail magnate and arts patron, who was joined by Henry’s son Anton Segerstrom along with 300 VIP guests. The gathering was a prelude to the airing of the film on New York television March 31 and April 2.
The A-list New York crowd was invited to a dinner reception at Carnegie Hall following the DGA screening. Terry Lundgren, chairman and CEO of Macy’s Inc., welcomed the Segerstrom guests as they recounted the extensive contributions of Henry Segerstrom to the worlds of art, culture, fashion and retail.
The preservation of Carnegie Hall was one of Segerstrom’s charitable mainstays, a legacy carried on by Elizabeth and extended Segerstrom family members. So it was elegantly fitting for the west-meets-east crowd to dine in the building that Segerstrom loved and admired.
Setting the tone of exceptional good taste, also a hallmark of the Segerstrom legacy, Cartier pages, dressed in signature uniform, ushered the guests to the Champagne dinner reception.
Elizabeth Segerstrom, stunning in a black cocktail dress accented with shimmering gold applique, greeted her high-profile friends. Among the dignitaries supporting her were Nassir Abdulaziz Al-Nasser, former president of the United Nations General Assembly, and his wife, Muna Rihani Al-Nasser, Lady Liliana Cavendish, Dame Jillian Sackler, Charlotte Sarkozy and Judy Zankel.
A very special and talented guest appeared to entertain the dinner crowd unexpectedly. Reneé Fleming, world-class soprano and Carnegie Hall trustee, graced the dinner with her amazing voice. Perhaps even more special is her connection to the Segerstrom family. A longtime close friend of Henry’s and Elizabeth’s, Fleming has been a part of the extended Carnegie family of donors for many years.
She joined a major contingent of fellow New York-based artists including many from the New York City Ballet company. Dancers Maxim Beloserkovsky, Ashley Bouder and Irina Dvorovenko shared dinner conversation with actress Catherine Hamilton and the artistic director of the American Ballet Theatre, Kevin McKenzie. Also in the crowd were the American Film Institute’s Tom West, Melissa Feruzzi Shriver, executive director of Turnaround Arts California, and Susan and Tim Strader, arts patrons from Newport Beach.
South Coast Plaza’s uber-classy Debra Gunn Downing greeted high-profile fashionistas. There were more fashion moguls at dinner than at the spring runway shows in Paris. Caroline Jones of Cartier South Coast Plaza joined Edouard D’Ambarmount, president of IWC North America, Claudia Cividino, CEO for the Americas for Bally, Ruggero Caterini, COO for Dolce & Cabana, Giovanni Carestia, president of Panerai, designer Cece Cord, and Michael Gould, former chairman and CEO of Bloomingdales, all raising a glass to the late Henry Segerstrom.
Fendi’s Janet Waltzer, Daniel Paltridge, U.S. president of Bulgari, Bottega Veneta’s Jacques Olivier d’Halluin, Lami Oladipo from Stella McCartney and Delphine Gesquiere, executive creative director of Vogue, were also front and center.
PBS has been a formidable media outlet for the Segerstrom documentary, which has aired in various PBS markets, including most recently in New York. Traveling east for the reception were PBS SoCal team members Maria Hall Brown, Phil Jimenez, Kathy Jura, Ty Woodson and Andy Russell, president and CEO of PBS SoCal. On hand to meet West Coast TV executives were Neal Shapiro, president and CEO of WNET, and Christopher Forbes, vice chairman of Fortune Media LLC.
The grand night in Midtown Manhattan was all part of Costa Mesa’s South Coast Plaza celebration of 50 years of cultural trendsetting in Southern California. The Segerstrom legacy of “only the best will do” lives on — impacting Orange County and beyond.
B.W. COOK is editor of the Bay Window, the official publication of the Balboa Bay Club in Newport Beach.