Nate Berkus hosts DIFFA Benefit at Ralph Lauren

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With host Nate Berkus, Chris McNally and Helen Melchior

The Ralph Lauren store on Michigan Avenue last night was packed wall to wall with people who came out to support DIFFA.  (Design Industry Foundation Fighting Aids).  15% of the sales last night went to DIFFA, one of the country’s largest supporters of direct care for people living with HIV/AIDS.   It was a very fashionable crowd, obviously, since it IS the Design Industry.  I saw Todd Hatoff, (Allen Brothers) looking very sharp with his partner Marshall Erb.  Chef Art Smith was there looking very svelte after his 25 pound weight loss.  He is excited about his upcoming chef duties for the Dalai Lama.  I asked his partner, Jesus Salguiero, what he would be cooking and he said it hadn’t been determined yet.  I told him to tell Art to make sure to make his famous goat-cheese/parmesan biscuits!  These make EVERYONE happy! 


The event was hosted by the ever-adorable Nate Berkus along with the Executive VP of Polo Ralph Lauren, Alfredo Paredes, and the DIFFA Chicago Board of Trustees.  It was great seeing Nate again and he looked fantastic, as always.  Other fashionables in the crowd included Holly Hunt,  Helen and Corinne Melchior, Margaret O’Connor, artist Francine Turk and her friend Shelby, Kyle Koenig, Az Ferguson, Chad Duda, John Ansehl, Laura Nelson, Estrella Rosenberg, Marta Michulka, Melissa and Richard Gamble (new publisher for Chicago Magazine), Jerry Mickelson (JAM Productions), Graham Kostic (Glossed & Found), Kevin Aeh, Charles Hocevar III, Frank LaMarca, Elise Schmitt, Kristin Lamprecht, Thomas Dent, Izabella Stefnis, Pavel Juricek, Jennifer McGregor (DIFFA President) and many, many others.  Lots of people met up again at RL Restaurant afterwards where the party continued!   (



Jesus Salguiero, Chef Art Smith, Az Ferguson and Kyle Koenig.


Power couple, Melissa Gamble (Director of Fashion, Arts and Events at Dept. of Cultural Affairs) and the new publisher of Chicago Magazine, her husband Richard Gamble.



Marshall Erb, Chad Duda and Todd Hatoff.


President of DIFFA, Jennifer McGregor, and Margaret O’Connor.


John Ansehl and Laura Nelson


Helen Melchior, Jerry Mickelson and Corinne Melchior


Crowd scene at Ralph Lauren


Holly Hunt and Patrick Plante.


Heather Jane Johnston and her daughter Haley Jane.


Jonathon Wells and Estrella Rosenberg.


Graham Kostic, Kevin Aeh, Elise Schmitt and Kristin Lamprecht.


Artist Francine Turk (center) with friends Shelby Koester and JoHannah Kornick



Frank LaMarca, Izabella Stefnis and Charles Hocevar III.

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