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2009 December 2

...And Drinking It Up

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Ana Ortiz, Christian Cota and Doc Hendley Ana Ortiz, Christian Cota and Doc Hendley
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(NEW YORK)  "I'm a white wine drinker," confessed Christian Cota at last night's launch of his charity partnership with Wine to Water, held at the Tribeca restaurant Forge. "Reisling. The sweeter, the better. I know it's not the best, but it's my thing."

Cota, who launches e-commerce on his website, ChristianCota.com, today, also created a capusle "E-Holiday" collection to be sold until December 30. Twenty five percent of the proceeds will be donated to Wine to Water. "I'm going to the Playa del Carmen, where my family is from, for the holidays," Cota explained as guests milled about, shopped online and admired the mini-clad models. "Thinking of the trip inspired me to create these basic pieces--a white dress that every girl has to have, a holiday dress..." Additionally, Cota concocted $60 t-shirts featuring the charity's signature pattern of bottle rings.

"I met Christian at an InStyle event, and we got to talking," said Ana Ortiz, sporting one of the designer's capsule confections. "Knowing another Latin designer is so huge. I can't tell you the number of times that I'm going to an event and I really, really want to wear a Latin designer. It's hard, sometimes, to find. He's just a good soul, on top of everything else."

The charity partnership attested to that point. "I believe it was in 2003 when I saw that 1.3 billion people don't have access to clean water, and I was shocked," said Doc Hendley, who launched Wine to Water in 2003 and operates out of Boone, North Carolina. "So I did the only thing I knew how to do, which was bartend." The Wine to Water events, as they became known, invited friends and supporters to drink donated wine in (equally) donated bar space. "After the party, I would tell them about the water crisis. People were as shocked as I was, and they wanted to be a part of it. This is our first partnership with a fashion brand, and it's a home run. Christian gave my wife a dress to wear on the red carpet for our event in Hollywood, so he's already my hero--because he made my wife feel like a million dollars."
ASHLEY BAKER




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