If you had any doubt about Skinnygirl’s dominance in the market, the Bethenny Frankel event at NYCWFF proved that it’s here to stay. Women of all ages (and the token males in the crowd) sipped on everything Skinny, took pictures on the Skinnygirl "red carpet," and anxiously waited for the true star of the event: Bethenny.
About an hour in, Frankel showed up with entourage in tow and posed for the photographers and the mobs of girls with iPhone cameras in hand. She spoke quickly to the crowd, thanking everyone for coming (and reminding that all proceeds of the event were going to charity). Then, she was quickly escorted to a set-up VIP lounge in the corner of the room, where bottle service was waiting for her. If the constant clammering to take photos of the reality star bothered her (imagine the polar bear exhibit at the zoo, mind you), the ever-cool Frankel didn’t show it. She poured drinks for herself and the lucky few escorted into the red roped- area, made conversation, and danced out of her seat to a few choice songs ("Call Me Maybe" was the first). "This is my song," she exclaimed to the crowd as Jay-Z’s "Empire State of Mind" came on.
For those who decided to avoid the mob scene surrounding the VIP area, the Skinnygirl spirits were flowing. Also on the menu were her newest additions to the Skinnygirl family, the red, blush, and white wines. Women buzzed to the bar to grab a cocktail; the most popular drinks were the flavored vodkas in Island Coconut, Cucumber, and Tangerine (not to mention the Bare Naked vodka). Meanwhile, waiters circled the room with 100-calorie treats in hand: herbed popcorn, sliders, flatbreads, and crostinis; the exception to the rule? The deliciously cute men circulating with Godiva truffles in hand. (At one point, the men all tried to get past security to see Frankel in the VIP area; they were quickly turned away.)
While these weren’t the craft cocktails of the Astor Hours event at the Public Theater the night before (Sprite and cranberry juice were on hand for the hundreds of vodka cranberries ordered), the bar kept churning out the drinks to the crowds. By far, the highlight of the night for the crowd was when Frankel herself hopped behind the bar. To the screams from fans and applause from the bartenders, she started taking drink orders like a champ. For a few minutes, she seemed to be in her element. After Frankel gave an enthusiastic woman her drink order and told her happy birthday, the scream alone from said woman was deafening.
Back at the VIP lounge, where Frankel remained for the majority of the night, fans continued to edge their way closer to the rope. (Men hovering the edges of the crowd were completely baffled.) You know you’re in the presence of a bonafide celebrity when Food Network execs — you know, the ones in charge of the whole New York City Wine and Food Festival — are getting frisked when they approach the red rope. Who knew Skinnygirl would be such a hot ticket?