In its fourth year, NorthPark Center’s Ambassador program boldly merges the worlds of fashion, art and philanthropy. The Ambassadors ― a masterful idea brought to life by Nancy A. Nasher and Kimberly Schlegel Whitman ― shines the spotlight on Dallas’ top influencers and the nonprofits they support.
Hand-selected for their philanthropic contributions, each year-long ambassadorship offers the opportunity to partner with NorthPark Center and its retailers for various events and initiatives to benefit their respective charitable organization. This year’s Ambassadors possess and unswerving commitment to the community, and are unshakably tethered to fashion, art and stylish philanthropy.
Today, we catch up with Geoffroy van Raemdonck and Alvise Orsini. While Raemdonck serves as CEO of Neiman Marcus Group Inc., his husband is interior designer Alvise Orsini, of UK-founded Orsini Design, with offices in both New York and Dallas. The jet-setting couple balance high-powered careers with their philanthropic pursuits.
They share the passion and mission of The Dallas Symphony Orchestra ― the largest performing arts organization in the Southeast United States. The DSO is committed to inspiring the broadest possible audience with distinctive classical programs, inventive pop concerts, and innovative multimedia presentations.
Why are you passionate about this charitable organization?
Dallas Symphony Orchestra not only brings the best musicians and conductors to a world-renowned concert hall, it is also focused on music education, which is a key component of children’s development and has been proven to have significant impact on student overall grades and development.
With social distancing, how are you staying engaged with your friends and community?
Like many of us, we have found new ways to keep connected with our friends ― sending presents, as small as cookies, and dinner meals, fresh flowers, or framed pictures from past memories, has kept us all connected throughout this pandemic.
NorthPark is at the center of both fashion and art. Describe your own fashion and art interests:
We both love eclectic art pieces and how they blend together. It is fortuitous as we seldom love the same piece, but we always find ways to make them coexist, and art contributes to creating our home ― with different layers and emotions.
When it comes to fashion, Geoffroy is more conservative (outside of his crazy shoes), while Alvise takes more risks.
What little luxuries, hobbies or rituals are keeping you sane these days?
Our luxuries these days are mainly moments with our kids, as well as candle-lit dinners in our garden with a nice bottle of wine.
Describe your ideal day:
Our ideal day would begin with Charlie and Hadrien waking us up in the morning. We’d start with a nice, healthy breakfast, preceded by a moment where each of us express what we are grateful for. Next, a visit to the chicken coop in our garden to gather fresh eggs. We both head to our home offices, and meet for a fast lunch, whilst our kids are having their little nap.
We would end the day dancing with Charlie and Hadrien, to each of their favorite songs, or jumping in the pool together, or playing hide and seek with them ― which is the best way to unplug. These days, Geoffroy goes back to work after dinner.
What is your chosen charity doing in times of COVID19 to continue its mission and cause?
Dallas Symphony Orchestra continues to play music and stream it. They are committed to keeping their mission alive, despite the fact that the concert hall is not open yet.
Any creative fundraising or virtual fundraisers planned?
We are thinking about how we apply everything we have learned from working remotely, and how Neiman Marcus associates have kept connected with their customers, to engage donors to support DSO.
C-Suite Christmas will take place on Wednesday, December 9, 2020. Amy Carenza is the C-Suite Christmas Event Chair. This year’s event will honor Steven Durham, and a scholarship for the DSO’s education programs will be named in recognition of his incredible contributions to North Texas.
This C-Suite Christmas event will benefit the Dallas Symphony’s Southern Dallas Residency, Young Musicians, and Young Strings programs.
Young Musicians, launched in summer 2019, and it provides free instruments and instruction to students in elementary grades 1-5 in the Southern Dallas sector. This initiative is based on the El Sistema program ― which uses music to further social equity and to nurture the child and his or her entire community. Young Strings, a core DSO education program since 1992, brings free lessons and deeper musical instruction to underrepresented communities in Dallas.
Additional details can be found at: https://www.mydso.com/give/events-and-volunteer/c-suite.