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10 Aug, 2009 07:36

NYC lonely hearts seek refuge from crisis with fashion or finance

The crisis has crushed incomes of high flyers in the New York financial world, but not their love of partying. A special event for those from the finance or fashion industry offers a chance for lonely hearts to meet.

New York City is not the land of workaholics it once was. Jobs are fewer, but when it comes to companionship, there’s no better place to be.

Forbes magazine says the Big Apple is the hot spot for singles in the US. In a city of more than eight million people, nearly 30 percent of New Yorkers are unmarried. Many still complain that meeting that special someone isn’t always easy.

While more and more New Yorkers are turning to on-line dating, the industries of wealth and beauty are trying to keep things exclusive.

Dressed in the threads that define them, people line up in a fusion of fashion and finance. A social event is introducing professionals, but only those with beauty and big bank accounts.

At the entrance you are asked for an ID, and not everyone gets past the strict door policy requiring guests to present business cards.

“Do you work in finance? You don’t? Unfortunately this event is only for women in fashion and men in finance, so I’m going to have to ask you to come back another time,” a person working for face control said.

Mingling over cocktails, the rich and glamorous seek the rhythm of love to the beat mixed by the DJ. Critics have labeled the exclusive party superficial and pretentious.

However, the woman behind it all says they’re out of tune.

“I work in fashion and I work with a lot of women out there that are looking for men to date, and in this industry, it’s not conducive to meeting very many men – same thing in finance. And I just thought somebody needed to organize them and get them together,” said Beth Newill, event founder and creator.

Since Fashion Meets Finance was launched two years ago, something has undeniably changed: half of the guests at the event – from the finance world – have lost some of their mojo.

“People are not going out as much. They’re not quite as cocky or confident as they once were,” one of the guests said.

“There aren’t many rich men left in the NYC,” another one added.

The carnage in commerce and high-finance has put fashionistas, not financiers, in the driving seat since those in fashion are now earning more.

Salaries may be down, but interest in this event has grown: RSVP’s for this party topped 1,200.

If anything, maybe the slow economy will give single people more time to speed up the search for love.