They certainly didn't come for the free food.
At a lunch on Wednesday intended to introduce New York City mayoral candidate Christine Quinn to the fashion community, the event's host, Cosmopolitan editor-in-chief Joanna Coles, joked that the fashion crowd in attendance would be unlikely to finish even their salads. But some of fashion's top players — including Tim Gunn, Isaac Mizrahi (who wore neon yellow Nikes), CFDA President Steven Kolb, Modern Family's Jesse Tyler Ferguson, and a slew of fashion editors — did come to meet the front-runner in New York's upcoming mayoral election.
Quinn told BuzzFeed she was eager to connect with the fashion industry, which she called "an incredibly important economic engine in New York City."
"It's an industry that has the potential to create and sustain lots of jobs that intersect with folks who have lots of different education experiences," she said. "I'm for any and all industries that put people to work, and if they make you look good while they're doing it, all the better."
Quinn recently appeared on the cover of New York magazine, in a photo spread that some critics described as overly "harsh" or having "a certain Dracula quality." But Quinn is not shying away from fashion magazine coverage. Her staff said an excerpt of Quinn's memoirs, which will be released in May, will appear in Vogue this spring and that they recently did a photo shoot with the magazine. Coles said Cosmopolitan will "totally feature her."
"I've found that the times I've taken pictures for magazines and whatnot, the people couldn't be lovelier and they're very supportive and kind to those of us who are not used to having our pictures taken like that," Quinn said.
The fashion community seems eager to embrace her back. When Quinn took the podium to make remarks at the lunch, the group of designers and fashion executives pressed her on issues related to their industry, such as supporting the Garment District and attracting wealthy tourists from countries like China and Brazil, who are likely to spend on luxury products. But they were mostly interested in helping to get her elected. Gunn, of Project Runway fame, asked point-blank: "What can we do to ensure you're the next mayor of this great city?"
Gunn had no style tips for Quinn. "I live on the Upper West Side and I have neighbors who say, 'Don't you think she's a little too glamorous?' But I love this about her!" he said. "I love her style and I love her look and I don't want her to change it." Coles added that Quinn's hair looked great, calling it "one hell of a blowout."
Quinn was not able to escape the lunch without being badgered about "who she was wearing." For the record: "The clothes are Elie Tahari, the bracelet is Alexis Bittar, the necklace is David Yurman, and the earrings I got in Sag Harbor from some guy named Lee."