This past weekend, I attended the annual SuperSaturday event in Water Mill, New York. Well-known in the fashion world and to vacationers in the Hamptons, this is essentially a high-end tag sale/sample sale of designer goods to raise money for the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund.
Each year Donna Karan underwrites the event along with InStyle Magazine and a slew of celebrities (Kelly Ripa, Mandy Moore, etc.) attend to shop the brand names. What struck me this year was the new corporate involvement of retailers like QVC (owned by Liberty Interactive Group and Bluefly as resale channels for the excess inventory from the fundraiser.
Here's how SuperSaturday works: Designers like Diane von Furstenberg, Donna Karan, Hugo Boss, etc. price their products at 50-80% off retail and sell them at the SuperSaturday event to customers who pay $400-600 for a ticket to access the outdoor fundraiser. Rather than keep the proceeds, 100% of the money raised goes to the Ovarian Cancer Research Fund. The designer's company gets the benefit from donating the apparel via writing it off as a charitable donation of their products. This way the designer wins by keeping their brands on desirable backs (celebrities and affluent influencers) while also getting a tax benefit.
Here's what's different this year: SuperSaturday now has a national scope. Liberty Interactive Group's QVC channel broadcast live from Super Saturday to help sell the donated items. Anything left over from Saturday's event (designer shoes, bags, clothes and beauty products) will not be handed over to homeless shelters (as it had been in the past) but instead those items will have a charitable second-life online at online retailer Bluefly.com. By Wednesday or Thursday this week, Bluefly will dedicate a portion of their Web site to the SuperSaturday resale. Bluefly will funnel the proceeds to the Ovarian Cancer Research fund and charge the buyer the standard tax and shipping fees (depending on just how much you buy, this charge has got to be less than the $400-600 Hamptonites paid for access.)