Discovered by legendary Sex and the City stylist Patricia Field and hailed as iconic designer Nicole Miller's protégé, Nicole Romano's sundae was topped with a big, juicy maraschino cherry when she was one of only six labels to be nominated in the accessories category at the 14th Annual Rising Star Awards.
Condé Nast Digital's editorial director and ceremony host Jamie Pallot declared, "Rising Star is the new Golden Globes," and indeed Cipriani 42nd street was the epicenter for who's who in the fashion world that afternoon; guest speaker Norma Kamali spoke of the importance of supporting emerging talents, and every established name in the industry was listening and taking note. Romano's nomination was cause to celebrate enough in her mentors' eyes, and an intimate celebration with bubbly and cheer was scheduled at Avenue Lounge later that evening.
Marc Marmel of Marc Marmel for Accessories ultimately won the accessories category, but hearing Linda Fargo refer to her as a standout in Fashion Week Daily was victory enough: "Just being nominated amongst such amazing talent was humbling. . . For me, Linda's praise was the award!"
That evening snow did not deter Romano's nearest and dearest from arriving early to the corner of 17th and 10th - "I wanted it to be just us in that beautiful space," Nicole gushed. The raspberry and gold-hued room glittered like an accessory itself and Patricia Field was amongst the first to arrive. "High Society" star Alexandra Osipow, recently pregnant, arrived glowing on the arm of proud husband A.J. Vissicchio, who devilishly shared a, er, Demi Moore Vanity Fair-inspired shot of his wife with us. "I can't believe you!" Alexandra exclaimed in mock admonishment, laughing. Actor Wass Stevens was at the door, but came inside to congratulate Nicole and reminisce with Patricia about their time on "Ugly Betty." Vanity Fair contributing editor George Wayne (of G-Spot) also dropped in, and Patricia raised her glass and playfully demanded, "I want to hear Anna Vissi!" Field digs the singer's Greek house beats, and was dancing and twirling the night away.
Fox News' Kimberly Guilfoyle and Ainsley Earhardt arrived next post-work in mittens and overcoats, grateful for the room's warm embrace. "Thank goodness this was early," Kimberly laughed, "But I adore Nicole and would do anything for her. She has amazing jewelry - it's chic, beautiful, and edgy. Just like the designer." The longtime girlfriends exchanged a warm hug and Avenue's Richard Thomas popped open another bubbly.
The generous spirited Romano was rocking a bold, silver-flowered necklace as a belt - "In fashion there are no rules," she declared - and surprised the girls with individually wrapped jewelry boxes. A delicate, gold necklace designed especially for us - "We're never too old for friendship necklaces," Ainsley affirmed happily. Always thoughtful, Nicole made sure to have an extra for our waitress, who was surprised and delighted. With articles to write, editors to meet, and shows to host, the women left early and headed uptown.
In this busy, brilliant, energetic city, one truth is golden: there is always time to acknowledge and celebrate well-deserved achievement. May your star always rise, Nicole!