“Hollywood Bag Ladies” Honor Marla and Nicole Paxson
Annual Benefit Luncheon Raises $550,000 for LA’s Leading Lupus Organization
Now in its fifth year, the LA Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon featured an auction of more than 400 celebrity- and designer-donated handbags, raised more than half a million dollars, and drew famous faces from television and film to the Beverly Wilshire Four Seasons Hotel on November 7th. One of the liveliest events on the Hollywood social scene, Marla Maples served as mistress of ceremonies for the luncheon and handbag auctions.
Founding Lupus LA member, Marla Paxson, and her daughter, Nicole, received the organization’s “Women of Achievement” award in recognition of their dedication to raising funds for bold and novel lupus research through Lupus LA’s support of the Lupus Research Institute. Nicole was diagnosed with lupus when she was 13 years old. The Paxson family has also lobbied Congress to increase funding for investigations into the mysterious autoimmune illness.
The silent auction featured rows of handbags donated by celebrities such as event chair member Mischa Barton, Jennifer Aniston, Scarlett Johansson, Sharon Stone, Zooey Deschanel, Fergie, and Hilary Swank, as well as designers Burberry, Fendi, Prada, Armani, Badgley Mischka, Michael Kors, and Versace.
Luxury handbag and shoe designer Mary Norton, who was diagnosed with lupus nearly a decade ago, presented a knock-out fashion show of selections from her recent collections. Her designs, long-time favorites on the red carpet, have been worn by such stars as Sharon Stone, Jennifer Lopez, Katherine Heigl, and Chandra Wilson.
Live auction highlights included Vanna White walking the runway with a Fendi leather travel set and Sharon Stone, who could not make it to the event in person, phoning in to sister Kelly to successfully bid on a Chopard watch for their mother. Sharon and Kelly Stone have been major Lupus LA supporters since Kelly was diagnosed with lupus several years ago.
Celebrity guests in attendance included Melissa Joan Hart, Whitney Port (The Hills), Kellie Martin, Vanna White, Kathy Hilton, Bernie and Carrie Brillstein, Khloe Kardashian and Kris Jenner (Keeping Up with the Kardashians), Lauralee Bell (The Young and The Restless), Jacklyn Zeman (General Hospital), Shondrella Avery (Napoleon Dynamite) and many others.