When I was about seven years old, I owned a petite, lavender bike with a white wicker basket and the requisite training wheels that I would take to the park with my dad on sunny weekends. Twenty-two years later, that same bike is collecting dust in my parents’ basement, training wheels having never come off, and the closest I’ve come to any sort of bike-riding is a SoulCycle class I took with a friend last fall.
I probably wasn’t the ideal candidate, then, to attend a dinner last night at Jacqueline Schnabel’s ridiculously chic West Village townhouse in honor of the organization World Bicycle Relief, which fosters access to everything from health care to education in rural villages by providing them with bikes and thereby transportation. Schnabel discovered their endeavors last November on a visit to Zambia—where they are working to distribute 50,000 bicycles to local children—and the non-profit is collaborating with NGOs to reach out to other African countries (to date, they have given out 71, 416 bikes in Zambia, Zimbabwe, Kenya and Tanzania).
But my lack of cycling prowess didn’t prevent me from understanding the charity’s raison d’etre, as founder F.K. Day addressed a packed audience that included Stella and Lola Schnabel, Olivier Sarkozy, Ross Bleckner, Alek Wek, Marina Abramovic, Ted Forstmann and Frederic Fekkai.
And quite a crush it was—Jacqueline’s carpeted, Marrakesh-worthy abode was teeming with friends and family nibbling on steak tartare, English pea and mushroom crostini and a buffet dinner downstairs.
“It’s so crowded. It’s a fucking zoo here,” said her ex-husband Julian Schnabel as he entered (sans current squeeze Rula Jebreal), before adding, “I guess that’s a good thing.”
It was. Hannah Bronfman and Arden Wohl caught up with friends, while Dustin Yellin eyed Angela Lindvall.
“That’s my first love,” said Yellin to a companion. “The girl in the green dress.&rdquo
“Why isn’t she talking to you?” he responded.
The frenzy only heightened when Naomi Campbell arrived, clutching her Russian beau Vladislav Doronin’s hand. The model kiss-kissed her way through the crowd—one for Fekkai, “Hi Vit!” to Vito Schnabel—as she was stopped by fans.
“Of course I remember you,” she said to one, rather dubiously, as she made a lap before heading out into the night.
Photos: David Prutting/Billy Farrell Agency