Housing Works kicked off its annual four-day fund-raiser Fashion for Action on Thursday, November 19, with a silent auction and sample sale. The Manhattan event was cochaired by designer Derek Lam and reality TV star Olivia Palermo and sponsored by Essence magazine. More than 150 top designers donated a combined $1 million worth of merchandise that was sold at 50 to 70 percent off retail prices. Designer labels that went for much less included Balenciaga, Burberry, Calvin Klein, Christian Dior, Dolce & Gabbana, DVF, Fendi, Gucci, Paul Smith, Ralph Lauren and Yves Saint Laurent.

The opening night benefit was held at the Rubin Museum of Art in New York City. Fashionistas had the opportunity to bid on silent auction items at the cocktail party and get a sneak peak of the items for sale at a VIP event across the street at Housing Works’ Chelsea thrift shop location. The sample sale was open to the public until Sunday, November 22.

Housing Works is the nation’s largest grassroots AIDS service organization and provides lifesaving services such as housing, food, medical care, HIV prevention and job training to more than 20,000 homeless and low-income New Yorkers living with HIV/AIDS.

Olivia PalermoCourtesy of Housing Works