Jann Wenner’s Father-Son Pow Wow and Moguls on the Menu

After weeks of Wednesdays full of Hollywood heavyweights (culminating in our Table One sit-down with Mitch Glazer and Kelly Lynch last week) there were more moguls (William Lauder, Jimmy Finkelstein) than celebrities at Michael’s today. However, the talking head contingent was represented by regulars Star Jones and MSNBC’s Jonathan Capehart. Today’s most intriguing table was the one where Jann Wenner was sitting with his son, Gus Wenner. Discussing the finer points of the power lunch, perhaps? Or maybe just tossing around some ideas for the website the 22 year-old publishing scion is now running. No matter — when dad’s the boss, I’m sure there’s plenty of room on that learning curve regardless of the subject.

I was joined today by Laurel Kamen and Christine Irvin, co-founders of  The Alloro Collection, a new ready to wear and accessories collection designed for women who have had breast cancer. I was surprised to learn that the collection, which does not sacrifice fashion for function, is truly the first of its kind since there was clearly a need for such an innovation for so long. The idea for the collection came to Laurel on the evening before her own breast cancer surgery a year and a half ago. After being diagnosed with cancer in her left breast, she elected to have a double mastectomy to reduce the risk of a recurrence, a decision which ended up saving her life. When Christine got the call from her longtime friend to tell her about the idea, she was all in. “She could have asked me if I wanted to go in on starting a car wash in Pittsburgh that night, and I would have said yes,” quipped Christine, “but, clearly, this idea was one that was about creating something for women with breast cancer where a real need existed and was a chance to help women restart their lives.”

Christine Irvin, Diane Clehane and Laurel Kamen

The Alloro Collection, whose name comes from the Italian pronunciation of Laurel’s name, was launched at a trunk show in Washington, DC, in March and immediately garnered extensive coverage in The Washington Post with a full page story by Robin Givhan and in WWD and W with pieces by Susan Watters. The 20-piece signature collection of tops, dresses and accessories which range from $160 to $250 is designed by Laurel’s cousin, New York-based designer Roedean Landeaux, whose own mother died of breast cancer. (There is also a more afford ably priced line of pieces under $50.)

Almost everything is made in New York, and both Laurel and Christine serve as fit models, with all the special considerations of a breast cancer patient kept top of mind. “There are 20 design elements to be considered,” explained Christine. Laurel outlined them as seen on the impeccably tailored cotton jersey dress she was wearing today. “This dress has a modified cowl neck whose higher contours account for the type of bra, surgical concerns and reconstruction a woman has or doesn’t have. The back flows away from the body, so it’s flattering to all body types. It’s also cotton, so it’s comfortable and breathable to help women dealing with hot flashes and hormonal changes brought on by chemotherapy and radiation.”

Christine also showed me a luxurious silk camisole with a seam in the back so as to not irritate the sensitive under arm area affected by surgery. Their chic structured mesh tote, which “weighs the same as a bottle of perfume,” is ideal for post-op women who are directed not to lift anything more than 10 pounds during the recovery phase of treatment. There’s also a stunning collection of silk scarves from $110-$210 sourced from the same companies who work with European labels Etro and Celine.