August 26, 2014 at 1:05 pm

Society

'The Art of Detroit' showcases city's best as CCS fundraiser

CCS Vice President Nina Holden with her husband, Reginald Holden. (Martin LeFlore)

The folks at Saks Fifth Avenue in Troy hosted a spectacular celebration of Detroit on Friday night with “The Art of Detroit,” a fundraiser for College for Creative Studies. Nearly 300 people filed into the luxury department store to explore the art of Detroit in the form of food, drinks and student art, including paintings, glass-blown sculptures, designs and music.

Local jazz crooner Ben Sharkey (a CCS grad) not only provided dynamic performances throughout the night on the second floor, but his artwork was on display at the front of the store, and he designed the party’s invitation.

“We wanted to present a dynamic and interactive event, unlike any other, that provided our guests with a fresh take on Detroit and its gems in the forms of restaurants, attractions and landmarks,” said Ina Levinson, vice president and general manager of Saks Fifth Avenue Troy. “It was an opportunity to give our clients and community access to unique experiences while raising funds for a worthwhile and well-respected entity in the Detroit community.”

One of the evening’s principal highlights was the Detroit-themed food and cocktail stations from local establishments, including American Coney Island, Slows Bar-B-Q, Coach Insignia, Signature Grille, Rattlesnake Club, Valentine Vodka Distilling, Atwater Brewery, Two James Spirits, Decanter Imports, Cabresto Tequila, Taste Love Cupcakes and Cadillac Coffee. Vignette displays of favorite Detroit destinations such as downtown, Corktown, Midtown and Greektown were erected throughout the store’s three levels.

There were also designer trunk shows featuring jewelry, clothing and accessories. Particularly impressive was a collection of man bags from Z Ballerini Detroit, with a “windows of Detroit” motif that brands each bag to echo the positive spirit of the city. Each guest that visited that display received a $100 gift certificate.

Guests were also given a chance to win a number of luxury giveaways, including a pair of $7,000 Vhernier earrings, Shinola his and her watches, Prada leather goods and a “staycation” at the Townsend Hotel in Birmingham.

Tickets to the event were $75 with proceeds supporting CCS. In addition, the design college will receive 10 percent of the evening’s sales.

Chuck Bennett is the Fox 2 News Style Ambassador and the creator of the Social D, a website that represents the social side of Metropolitan Detroit. See thesociald.com.

Mike Ballerini Sr., left, and his son, Mike Z. Ballerini, from Z Ballerini ... (Photos by Martin LeFlore / Special to The Detroit)