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Melissa Berkelhammer

Melissa Berkelhammer

Posted: February 9, 2011 06:02 PM

Milly's Michelle Smith, one of the few designers whose clothing line is regularly featured on Gossip Girl and is actually within the price range of most of its viewers, unveiled her new line of children's wear, handbags, and jewelry at Bergdorf Goodman last Thursday. Friends and fans like Dayssi Olarte de Kanavos, Claudia Overstrom, Hayley Bloomingdale, Sloane Overstrom, and Gillian Miniter toasted the designer and put in orders for the affordable pieces, with part of the proceeds going to benefit Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center. There was a competing benefit that evening for the NewYork-Presbyterian Phyllis and David Komansky Center for Children's Health, but that didn't stop other attendees like Blair Husain and Kamie Lightburn from doing some pre-benefit shopping. After all, why not support two causes in one evening?

The ever-popular designer was unsurprisingly overwhelmed between friends, well-wishers, and other interviewers vying for a soundbite. But she did tell me that she took the same approach to her handbag collection as she does to her ready-to-wear collection. "The Milly aesthetic," she explained, "is smart, sexy, and glamorous -- a modern sensibility with a vintage vibe. Milly epitomizes uptown sophistication meets downtown cool."

And while the crowd at Bergdorf's that evening may have leaned heavily toward the uptown lunching set, all have long appreciated Milly's affordability, especially compared to some of their other go-to designers. "My goal has been to create a truly designer-level handbag in terms of fashion detail, quality materials and finishing, but at a contemporary price point," Ms. Smith, who is also opening a Madison Avenue flagship store this April, continued. "This philosophy has set Milly apart from the competition in ready-to-wear, and I believe it will do the same for our handbag collection." Now, all we need to complete the trifecta is for Ms. Smith to make a cameo appearance on Gossip Girl herself!