A love letter to Joan Hamburg

At Sardi's - wearing my Prabal Gurung for Target dress

It was just about a year ago (June 5th to be exact), that I won a prize from WOR Radio: a chance for me and a guest to attend a live broadcast of The Joan Hamburg Show from Sardi’s in NYC. It was then, as it is now, just days before the Tony Awards. I brought my mom with me, to watch Joan do her magic as she interviewed her distinguished guests and actors on Broadway. But of course, the highlight for me, was meeting Joan herself. It was a day I will cherish always and I wrote about the experience and the dress I chose to wear, on Turning Fashion Inside Out.

I just heard the news that after 35 years, Joan was let go from WOR Radio. Without any warning and regard. In New York columnist, Cindy Adams’s words,’WOR stands for With Out Respect.’ I so agree and I am quite upset.

Joan, I am thinking of you and wish you well. You have meant so much to me and I look forward to following you on your next adventures. I re-post this feature from last year, with love and gratitude ~ Melissa Kaplan GuarinoContinue reading

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Looking Tony

Cyndi Lauper on the red carpet at the Tony Awards - Photo credit: Getty Images

Cyndi Lauper on the red carpet at the Tony Awards Photo credit: Getty Images

Broadway’s Big Night Arrived. Last night’s Tony Awards sparkled in Radio-City-Music-Hall-Red. A highlight for me was seeing a few of the actors from my adventure with WOR’s Joan Hamburg broadcast at Sardi’s, including: Judith Light, winner in the category Best Performance by an Actress in Featured Role in a Play, Alan Cumming, a presenter, and Jane Lynch, who performed.

The evening’s fashion moment came when Cyndi Lauper won Best Original Score for the hit musical Kinky Boots. I thought Cyndi looked chic in all-black with lace detail, with touches of gold hand candy and earrings providing just the right accents: as always, she was an original. When presenter Jane Krakowski (another fashion favorite) bowed down to Cyndi as she accepted her award, it was an emotional and sweet moment.

Jane Krakowski and Cyndi Lauper Photo credit: Reuters

Jane Krakowski on stage with Cyndi Lauper Photo credit: Reuters

 

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Melissa at Sardi’s

At Sardi's - wearing my Prabal Gurung for Target dress

At Sardi’s – wearing my Prabal Gurung for Target dress

When I bought my Prabal Gurung for Target dress* I kept the tag on. It was so charming: the tag had boxes for a girl to check – this dress is suitable for first date, the kiss, girl’s night, dinner and a movie, meet the friends, weekend away, meet the parents, the proposal and engagement party … and all I could do was imagine the wonderful life my dress and I would have. Indeed, these are all fabulous reasons to wear this dress but now there is one more box to add to the list: appearance at Joan Hamburg’s “My Big Tony Party and Broadcast at Sardi’s“.

Joan Hamburg is a New York icon: a radio personality on WOR Radio since the 1970s, she is a leader in her field and wonderful in every way, full of integrity and intelligence and wit. My mom introduced me to Joan Hamburg at least twenty years ago and I have been listening to her ever since. So when I had the chance to win tickets to see the taping of Broadway stars at Sardi’s I jumped, dialed the number, spoke with Joan on the radio … and won! The live broadcast did not disappoint: my dress and I watched Joan interview Jane Lynch, Alan Alda, Alan Cumming, Richard Kind, Judith Light, Kathie Lee Gifford, Vanessa Williams, and many more. And then my dress and I met Joan Hamburg which was truly the highlight.

You always remember the clothes you wear for special occasions. That is how they take on a life of their own and keep your dreams alive. On this day my mom and I met Joan Hamburg and I will remember the day and the dress always.

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* my entire outfit was designed by Prabal Gurung for Target, including the crystal necklace and shoes – seen here

 

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More sustainable fashion news …

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Chris Yura, Founder and CEO of SustainU
Photo courtesy of SustainU

Here is a fashion story with heart: Notre Dame football star and graduate becomes the Founder and Chief Executive Officer of a company that produces American-made, 100% recycled t-shirts. Chris Yura says that he “always felt called to think of ideas” and that the Notre Dame community encouraged him. He was speaking to Joan and Liz Hamburg on WOR Radio/NYC. Every Monday, Joan’s daughter, Liz, an entrepreneur herself, hosts a segment called Launchpad, where entrepreneurs discuss their ‘big ideas’ and business ventures.

Mr. Yura’s story fascinates me. After graduating from college, he was scouted to become a fashion model, and moved to New York City where he worked for Ford Models for five years. It was during that time that he started to understand how clothing is made and says that it was this information from “my years in fashion” that sparked his desire to create sustainable, American-made clothing. He researched the process and materials extensively, and eventually, his company, SustainU, was born.

Mr. Yura says that his clothing is not only good for the planet, but good for workers and for consumers. His tees are affordable and sell for approximately $20 retail. He also contends that if he stays true to his business model; that everything must be made in America, that all clothing must be made from 100% recycled materials (not simply partially-recycled materials), and that he manufacture in places where people need the work, SustainU will stay successful, even when up against its competitors. Anyone can order on-line at SustainUClothing.com, and in 2013 SustainU plans to be in NYC area retailers and throughout the United States. They are also planning to produce other types of clothing, including fleece and performance and children’s wear.

As a football player, Mr. Yura understood the importance of depending on his teammates. Similarly, he relies on his teammates at SustainU; they are a young and agile company and always open to new ways of manufacturing. “I’m at the tip of the iceberg now … I am starting to see what’s possible.” ~ Chris Yura

Good for you  – good for us! And thank you to NYC treasures Joan and Liz Hamburg for bringing Chris Yura’s story to our attention.

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