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Society News

Lynda Levitsky, Chairperson of the Inaugural Palm Beach Luncheon with

Lynda Levitsky, Chairperson of the Inaugural Palm Beach Luncheon with
guest speaker Ira Neimark; honoree Iris Apfel and event co-chairperson Susan Wexler Photo by: Tom Brodigan



200 people attend sold-out

Inaugural Palm Beach Style Luncheon 2008

held to benefit the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History


Style doyenne Iris Apfel was honored

Permanent gallery dedicated to Apfel is being planned for Museum



Palm Beach, Florida  -  200 of South Florida’s most prominent people attended the Inaugural Palm Beach Style Luncheon held in December 2008 at the Colony Hotel Palm Beach, Florida.  The luncheon served as a kick-off for the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History’s capital campaign fund drive for its proposed permanent building.  Five million dollars need to be raised for the first phase of the building capital campaign.


The sold-out luncheon included South Florida guests from the Town of Palm Beach, Palm Beach Gardens, Boca Raton, Delray Beach, Highland Beach, Manalapan, Hillsboro Beach, Parkland, Fort Lauderdale, Miami and Bal Harbour, to name a few.  All guests were delighted with the sound of live music, the beautiful sight of the room décor and the delectable tastes of fine food.


The event chairperson was Lynda Levitsky and her co-chairperson Susan Wexler both of Highland Beach, Florida.  The Master of Ceremony for the Inaugural Palm Beach Luncheon was Kara Kostanich who is the Reporter/Weekend News Anchor for CBS 12 TV News for Palm Beach County.  Committee members were Ila Fox Ardleigh of Boca Raton; Polina Bathvarova of Boca Raton; Rebecca Coleman of Boca Raton; Lori J. Durante of Delray Beach; Tanisha Nunn Gary of Stuart, Florida; Robin J. King of Fort Lauderdale; Elyssa Kupferberg of Boca Raton; Janie Lewis of Boca Raton; Linda Rich of Highland Beach; State Representative Maria Sachs of Delray Beach and Richard Vezina of Fort Lauderdale.


The luncheon sponsors included Palm Beach County Commissioner Addie L. Greene; Hermès of Paris in Palm Beach, BNY Mellon Wealth Management; Herme de Wyman Miro of Palm Beach, Florida; and I-Supply. The music was sponsored by Richard Vezina and Lynda Levitsky.  And, the gorgeous orchid centerpieces were designed by Susan Wexler and sponsored by her and Lynda Levitsky.   The magazine sponsor was Florida Design’s Palm Beach, The Island Magazine.


The Honoree for the luncheon was style doyenne Iris Apfel of Palm Beach, Florida who was presented with a collage designed by artist Bruce Helander.  Iris Apfel was recognized for her great sense of style, contributions to the perpetuation of the educational significance of fashion and her renowned interior design career at the company that she founded with her husband Carl Apfel.  That company was Old World Weavers in New York City which is an internationally acclaimed textile design and manufacturing company.  The year was 1950, and Harry S. Truman was the thirty-third President of the United States, when Carl and Iris Apfel started their company Old World Weavers.  Sixteen years ago, the Apfels retired and sold Old World Weavers to Stark Carpet.  During Mrs. Apfel’s distinguished career at Old World Weavers, she was a part of many interior design restoration projects including work at the White House under nine different U.S. Presidents that include Truman, Eisenhower, Nixon, Kennedy, Johnson, Carter, Reagan and Clinton. 


A permanent gallery dedicated to the style, fashion, interior designs and furnishings of Iris Apfel is now included in the plans for the building for the Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History.   


The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History has now acquired more than 1.4 acres of property in Boynton Beach, Florida (Palm Beach County) for a proposed museum facility for the purpose of presenting permanent and traveling exhibits.  The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History has been the only museum in Palm Beach County approved to host traveling exhibits from the Smithsonian Institution.   When the Museum was located in the donated space in a shopping center in downtown Delray Beach a number of exhibits from the Smithsonian were hosted.  That shopping center has been sold and demolished for redevelopment.  A building is very much needed by the Museum to once again bring exhibitions to this area from the Smithsonian as well as artifacts from around the world.  For the permanent building for the Museum, there are many naming opportunities available as well as other donation and sponsorship categories.


The luncheon guest speaker was Mr. Ira Neimark, former CEO of Bergdorf Goodman.  His lecture brought the allure of the fashion industry center stage.  Mr. Neimark has written a book Crossing Fifth Avenue to Bergdorf Goodman in which he shared his experiences and lessons learned at Bergdorf where the store catered to a distinct client base of fame, royalty and wealth.    Attendees at the luncheon all received autographed copies of the book.


 The Museum of Lifestyle & Fashion History is a non-profit museum that was established in year 1999, therefore, will be celebrating its 10th anniversary during the year 2009.  The mission of the Museum is to offer educational programs, and history and retrospective anthropology exhibits showcasing lifestyle, cultures, people, places, fashion trends, clothes, architecture, furnishings, decorative arts, interior designs, locomotives and toys, and information about popular uses of artifacts by people/events of various periods of time.  The goal of the Museum's mission is to collect and preserve objects and artifacts that relate to the Museum’s mission; provide educational & cultural arts programs for children, families, the general public and the economically disadvantage; and the goal is to enhance tourist attractions and the economy of the area.



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