Yesterday we discussed Fashion Meets Finance, the dating event of the year, based on the idea that "women in fashion need men who can facilitate their pre-30 marriage/retirement plan, and men in finance need women who will allow them to leverage their career in their dating equity." We'd planned on walking by Taj, where the affair was being held last night, and throwing a grenade into the place, but then decided it would be much more fun to send one of YOU to the dark side to report back. Unfortunately, very few people wanted to actually be seen at this thing, but after much pleading, commenter Investor Cluzo agreed to take one for the team. Here are his findings.
As one of my colleagues pointed out in yesterday's comments, who the hell can make it to these events at 5:30? WTF, I'm in - but this is for you, the loyal DB readers, and not of my own volition. Here we go: Gucci loafers, check; Rolex, check (yes, I went there); Tiffany cufflinks, check; matching belt buckle (with initials); check. Let's do this!
Let me start with my trip to the venue: saw a "youngish" woman nursing a child in Washington Square Park (c'mon, that kid wasn't hungry before you left the house?). On the other hand, passing the Shake Shack, no less than 5 girls gave me a big smile and the once over-- call it the "Obama Effect."
Now for what you came for, the big show. What's this? Velvet ropes, a line-- this is a bad joke. These hucksters cannot be in finance. If they are, I can think of a few VP's who are pissed or they (a) worked at bear or (b) were recently placed in commercial banking by the HR folks at JPM. Wait, is that peach fuzz? Summer interns! Shouldn't they be putting in a little face time? Don't they realize this market sux?! Bess got me on the list about ½ hour ago, I'm not waiting in line with a bunch of chumps. That's right, see you inside suckas!
As I walk in I hear the girls get told it's a $5 donation; for the dude with a tie, "it's a $10 donation, but feel free to give what you'd like." As advertised, there was Rolling Rock aplenty. Every summer intern in the place was drinking the free stuff. From the look of the bar, tips weren't overly generous (just a lot of singles). I'd ordered a Belvedere and tonic - I'm going to need something to get me through this evening. The bartender quickly says she'll "have to charge" me for the Belvedere. and her point? I thought this was fashion meets FINANCE, not back office ops - chop, chop, I got this. Oops, $14! Is she kidding with that? it's in a plastic cup and she's charging me for "premium" liquor like this place is Marquee (now Bess really owes me).
This whole thing is strikingly similar to a high school dance, dudes on one side of the floor, girls on the other. That said, it's a pretty diverse crowd - Whites, Blacks, Asians, Indians, a veritable melting pot; and it's still awkward. Perhaps they need to drink more.
Let's meet some people...what better place to meet people than the free wine line (yes, I'm double fisting). Me: "So what do you do?" Girl: "I'm in finance". How did she get in? The rules clearly stated, no girls in finance! Next, please.
Me: "So what brings you here?" Her: "My girlfriends came to the last one and they told me to come for the happy hour." Me: "Right and you wanted to meet some finance guys?" Her: "No, most of those guys are d-bags". Whoa missy! clearly she is too smart for her own good. I think I need another drink.
Here we go three girls standing in front of the DJ booth. Me: "Let me guess, finance?" Them: "No, we're in fashion [giggles]."
Turns out, theses girls were the cool kids. They all worked at "International Intimates." That's right, jackpot! Someone posted yesterday that half of the fashion types work as waitresses; well guess what, two of the three worked at Slate (next door to Taj), but now they are all pulling down enough to forego the second job. Good for them.
I spy a dude on the dance floor with two chicks. What the hell? The rules also stated no guys in fashion. I have to hand it to him, he got his groove on all night and the ladies loved him.
Bess had sent me with instructions to get quotes from some "guys." Here we are, the "VIP" section. Three guys sitting on the couch by themselves...what a shame. Suits look like last year's model from SYMS.
Me: "So what do you guys do?" Them: "I'm at Citi (strike one); I'm at JPM, but I'm going to work for the World Bank (foul ball, strike two); I'm a trader (strike three, I'm out of here)." At this rate, it doesn't look like fashion will ever meet "finance." I'll let you guess which one had the $$ collar working for him.
Oh, wait just a second. What's this? Is that Donald Trump IV? The blonde mop says it is.
Me: "So what do you guys do?" The Donald IV: "Global macro at Kensington." Her: "Accounting [giggles]." No fashion here, but I'll give her a pass for getting friendly fast (according to colleagues, they just met).
Looks like there been enough Rolling Rock to get the crowd a little more "integrated." I believe I've seen enough, time to move on. The "International Intimates" girls want to go to Slate. I'm out.
For those thinking about attending the next event, I will warn you that it was heavy on the dude quotient and light on the "hot fashion" types. That said, I was told by one girl who attended the last party that there were "too many" girls (I believe that's a relative term).
--Investor Cluzo, FMF Correspondent
Earlier: Meet The Junk Bond Of Your Dreams Tonight