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Hipsters for Haiti: Steven Rojas Pulls Off Last-Minute Fundraiser

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Hipsters for Haiti: Steven Rojas Pulls Off Last-Minute Fundraiser

Zack Sebatian

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How do you get downtown's creative class -- fashion designers, magazine editors, shaggy-haired musicians and short-skirted stylists -- to brave a rain-soaked Sunday night for a last-minute party at the Soho Grand?

You ply them with cocktails, cupcakes and a seamless soundtrack of DJ'd tunes and do it all for the benefit of Port-au-Prince earthquake victims.

"It was a huge hustle. Huge. Massive," laughed downtown gadabout and one of the evening's hosts Steven Rojas, grabbing his golden hued cocktail as if tonight was the first time he'd been able to quench his thirst following such a Herculean effort.

Thankfully Mr. Rojas -- the PR Manager at Archetype Showroom -- had help in the form of friends and co-hosts Tommy Saleh, Grand Hotels' Creative Director and the man responsible for providing the space, and Mary Kate Steinmiller, a fashion editor at Teen Vogue.

After watching all the grizzly scenes from Port-au-Prince on the news last Thursday, Ms. Steinmiller started texting Mr. Rojas, and together they began brainstorming the party over their BlackBerrys.

"We all have friends in the industry and we knew we could put this together," he said. 

Seventy-two hours and several cases of Svedka vodka later, their lickety-split party-pull-off-ability was more than evident. Among the guests piling onto couches and sashaying through the vaulted-ceiling barroom as if it were a runway show were Sophomore designer Chrissie Miller and Elle magazine's Style Director Kate Lanphear, while it-girl DJ duo Harley Viera-Newton and Cassie Coane mixed a selection of suitably laid back songs.

As for the red velvet cupcakes, they'd been donated by Georgetown Cupcake and driven up from D.C. that morning.

"We know the right people," Mr. Rojas said, seemingly satisfied with the good-looking mix of charitable characters on hand.

Tommy Saleh appeared content too, but was quick to redirect the focus back to the night's original purpose: "[Tonight] is not about fashion or trends, its really about giving to people who are in need; it's about them, not us." And apparently, for all the indulgent Sunday night swilling, it really was. By the time 10 p.m. rolled around, $9,000 had been raised.

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