Society / Fashion / Featured Parties

Kate Hudson, Fergie and Karlie Kloss Help a Texas Dynamo Launch a Power Women’s Service

Changing of the Guard Takes Over a Storied Male Enclave

BY // 10.26.17

NEW YORK — The setting said it all: the former Four Seasons Restaurant, now known as The Grill and The Pool since the location was bought, re-booted and re-opened this spring.

When the original restaurant opened in 1959, the iconic Philip Johnson and Ludwig Mies van der Rohe-designed destination became synonymous with the almighty Power Lunch. Gordon Gekko and Don Draper types flocked here for generations nestling into Mies BRNO chairs, making deals over martinis, slick in their suits and ties.

Sure, women have ever so slightly infiltrated that Power Lunch scene — but we’re certain the hallowed walls of the Seagram Building have never seen anything quite like this. Call it a changing of the guard.

“It’s fitting that we’re here in the space where the power lunch was born,” said Whitney Wolfe Herd, the 29-year-old founder of Bumble, during a star-studded party celebrating the launch of her newest venture, Bumble Bizz. “Well, that power lunch is no longer just [for] men.”

Of course, this was far more than a power lunch — but rather a power dinner, with enough feminine muscle to lift even the heaviest glass ceiling.

To co-host her glamorous New York City fête, Herd, whose roots are in Texas, with her company based in Austin and having attended Southern Methodist University in Dallas, tapped an unparalleled, world-renowned trio: Indian actress and philanthropist Priyanka Chopra; model and tech entrepreneur Karlie Kloss; and actress-entrepreneur Kate Hudson.

The gals showed up in force, with a guest list of top editors (Elle Magazine’s Nina Garcia and Alyssa Bailey; Architectural Digest’s Amy Astley; GQ’s Madeline Weeks, WWD’s Alex Badia, Harper’s Bazaar’s Joanna Hillman, Vogue’s Selby Drummond); artists (Anh Duong); fashion types (Tina Craig, Misha Nonoo, Leandra Medine, Samantha Angelo, Rachel Zoe, Claire Distenfeld, Gucci Westman); social celebs (Nell Diamond, Sara Foster, Erin FosterCasey Fremont Crowe, Elettra Rosellini Wiedemann); royals (Princess Beatrice of York); and Bumble’s pretty-young-thing clique of execs (Chelsea Maclin, Sarah Sawaf, Caroline Roche, Alex el-Effendi).

After a high-energy cocktail hour in The Grill, everyone moved to The Pool for dinner. A few minutes before dinner chimes rang, however, a surprise guest — pop star Fergie — swanned through the crowd. Why was she here? We would find out soon enough.

Once in The Pool’s dining room, InStyle editor-in-chief Laura Brown — famous for her pro-women editorial vision, quirky demeanor, and ability to poke fun at the fashion industry with charming aplomb — was first to take the mic.

“How incredible it’s been to see women not just standing by each other — but lifting each other up,” she said in reference to that week’s #metoo social-media campaign that encouraged women to speak up against sexual harassment.

“Whitney Wolfe Herd has been giving women the power since launching Bumble almost three years ago,” Brown continued. “From the start, she was committed to empowering women and helping them make the first move romantically, socially, and now, with Bumble Bizz, professionally.”

With that, a visibly nervous Herd (but, really, who wouldn’t have jitters addressing such an A-List crowd of ladies) took the stage.

“I believe that misogyny is an epidemic,” she deadpanned. “It’s the cigarettes of our generation — and it’s making us really sick. We’re not going to solve it just tonight, maybe not tomorrow. But as we like to say in our office, swipe by swipe we might be able to make a change for the future.”

The crowd erupted in applause — something that would happen multiple times throughout the evening, between remarks from Chopra, Kloss, and Hudson.

“It’s nights like tonight that make me very excited to be a part of the movement of women being in charge of our own destinies,” said Hudson. “I’m super proud of this girl [Whitney Wolfe Herd], because this is really incredible.”

After remarks, Herd made one final decree (“I hope you can have a cocktail — or two — tonight!”) and dinner was served.

Still, there was one more surprise to be had. We were told an After Party was going to be held back in The Grill following dessert. So, the crowd packed back in and within minutes noticed a certain sequin-and-sunglasses clad Fergie spinning tunes with the DJ. It wasn’t long before she grabbed the microphone and started performing, leaving the stage to belt her most famous tunes and dance — at one point even dropping down into the splits — alongside partygoers.

Never, has more girl power been packed into one night.

Still, despite the A-List crowd, glitz, and glamour that stole the show this Thursday night in October, there was one resounding takeaway. Herd is on a mission to do much more than help women find romantic partners. Sure, she started with the launch of dating app (Bumble, by which women make the first move), followed by the debut of a similar swipe-left-swipe-right app (Bumble BFF) to encourage female friendships. But the launch of Bumble Bizz seems the culmination of Herd’s larger vision to empower women, period — to help us take control of our own lives, be it social, personal, romantic, and professional.

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