The finest and most stylish Ladies from all over Los Angeles came together last Friday, November 22, for the. 16th annual Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon.
This is a premiere annual charity event benefiting Lupus LA. Lupus LA is a non-profit health organization and is dedicated to finding the causes of and a cure for Lupus while providing support services and hope to all who suffer from the autoimmune disease. This years event was honoring Dr. Sheila Barbino, board certified surgeon as the Lupus LA 2019 Woman of Achievement Award.
At the event, women participated in a silent auction featuring hundreds of new and vintage handbags… some donated by top designers and celebrities such as Selena Gomez. Boutiques and experiences from Theory, Lalique, Karen Lazar, and Blushington were available to the guests as well. In total, this year’s event raised over a quarter of a million dollars. Funds raised support Lupus LA’s mission to find the causes of and cure for lupus, while providing support, services and hope to those affected by the autoimmune disease. Presently, 90% of people living with lupus are women. In recognition of that statistic, this year’s Bag Ladies Luncheon was focused on celebrating our female patients, and created an environment of beauty, empowerment and strength.
Before heading into the event, we had the pleasure of chatting with Kristen Renton who was excited to be experiencing her very first “Bag Ladies” event. Kristen was actually diagnosed with Lupus back in 2010 and described her symptoms explaining, “Strangely enough, my joints started to hurt! …. my pinky finger was extremely swollen, and I couldn’t figure out what was going on, and from there it progressively got worse.”. She remembered her first experience claiming, “Every fiber of my being hurt”. Many people often go misdiagnosed, as the early symptoms resemble arthritis, or swollen joints. Grey’s Anatomy star, Ali Hillis told the Knockturnal that “Spreading awareness has helped so many people find out that what they have could have some relationship to Lupus”. Hillis has attended many “Bag Lady” events through the years and often picks up a couple new bags each time.“I don’t think I’ve ever gone home with less than 3-5 bags, and I’m hoping not to beat that record this year” Hillis told us before heading in to the event.
A woman with lupus is like a vintage handbag – the scuffs tell her story, the wear makes her wise, the experience makes her a classic, and she is revered by all. The Hollywood Bag Ladies Luncheon is an opportunity for all women to celebrate the beauty and strength that is born from our challenges. For more information, visit www.LupusLA.org.