Wednesday, February 21, 2024

T Shirt King Flies in West Coast Tabloid Type Celebs (Bieber, Jenners, JLo) for Latest Version of Time Honored Hamptons “White Party” (Been There, Done That)


T shirt king billionaire Michael Rubin — who was briefly an investor in the Philadelphia 76ers — had a White Party on Monday in the Hamptons.

As far as the released pictures go, no one who actually lives in the Hamptons — like Jerry Seinfeld, Christie Brinkley, or Jimmy Fallon — was invited or came. There were no writers or artists, or media– the people who actually live in the famed area.

No, Rubin — who owns a $50 million “house” that bears a strong resemblance to L.A.’s Dorothy Chandler Pavilion — flew in a raft of US Weekly type West Coast celebrities, including Jenners and Kardashians, JLo, and Tom Brady. Ben Affleck and Leonardo DiCaprio represented actual Hollywood, and were there basically as dates. Justin Bieber? Not exactly Paul Simon or even Jon Bon Jovi, neither of whom were present but live nearby. Billy Joel? Otherwise occupied.

The White Party is getting a lot of press. But it’s an old idea, actually made popular in the Hamptons in the late 90s but Sean “Diddy” Combs. He had several at his house — a modern but much more serene and modest mansion — that defined an era out East between 1998 and 2007. Jay Z, who attended at least one of those back in the day, could not have forgotten this while he Jeeped around with Beyonce. Martha Stewart and Donna Karan were among the locals back then. My favorite moment was meeting Lil Kim on the bathroom line.

Diddy — who doesn’t seem to have been on this guest list — wasn’t the only host of White Parties back in the day. Superstar Motown songwriters Nik Ashford and Valerie Simpson threw a much in demand July 4th soiree at their beautiful estate in Westport, Connecticut. Celebrities filled their massive property including Aretha Franklin and Freddie Jackson, and there was always an unforgettable performance — like KC and the Sunshine Band — to go with the delicious cuisine.

So “White parties” are nothing new. Just the hype is now, and the fact that people have short memories. Michael Rubin is the new kid on the very expensive block, having made a fortune in sports apparel. His company, Fanatics, is a huge hit especially if you want sports team branded clothing. He’s the latest Gatsby to arrive in East Egg, but not the first. Or the last.

Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman
Roger Friedman began his Showbiz411 column in April 2009 after 10 years with Fox News, where he created the Fox411 column. His movie reviews are carried by Rotten Tomatoes, and he is a member of both the movie and TV branches of the Critics Choice Awards. His articles have appeared in dozens of publications over the years including New York Magazine, where he wrote the Intelligencer column in the mid 90s and covered the OJ Simpson trial, and Fox News (when it wasn't so crazy) where he covered Michael Jackson. He is also the writer and co-producer of "Only the Strong Survive," a selection of the Cannes, Sundance, and Telluride Film festivals, directed by DA Pennebaker and Chris Hegedus.

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