Inside Last Night’s Entertainment Industry Foundation, Play Make Her Fund Event at Tory Sport

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ESPN host Rachel Nichols, EIF president and CEO Nicole Sexton and Los Angeles Sparks' Christine Simmons on Thursday night.

“Our new Play Make Her fund is focused on empowering women as game changers in the sports industry—an important entertainment lane that we are cultivating,”says EIF President and CEO Nicole Sexton

The Entertainment Industry Foundation (EIF) and its Play Make Her fund, created earlier this year to empower women in the sports industry, held a shopping event on Thursday night at the new Tory Sport shop-in-shop on the third floor of the Tory Burch flagship in Beverly Hills. EIF president and CEO Nicole Sexton and event co-hosts, Los Angeles Sparks president and COO Christine Simmons and ESPN host Rachel Nichols, were among the crowd; 20 percent of the evening's purchases benefit Play Make Her.

“We are thrilled to launch a Sport shop-in-shop at our Rodeo Drive store; women in Los Angeles have incredible style and care passionately about health and wellness,” says Burch, who was not in L.A. for the EIF event, the first to take place in the space dedicated to Tory Sport—an extension of the Tory Burch brand that blends high-tech materials with fashion-forward athleisure and activewear. A similar EIF/Play Make Her event was hosted by National Basketball Players Association Foundation executive vice president Chrysa Chin in June at the Tory Sport boutique in New York’s flatiron neighborhood.

“This event is the perfect illustration of EIF in action,” says Sexton, who has worked to expand the group’s brand alliances since her appointment as president and CEO last fall and hinted at a forthcoming partnership with another major fashion brand. “Our mission is to support the philanthropic efforts of the entertainment community as a fiscal partner and as a convener of the community around large-scale efforts such as Hope for Haiti, Somos [the disaster relief benefit concert] and Stand Up To Cancer, raising awareness for health, educational and social issues. Our new Play Make Her fund is focused on empowering women as game changers in the sports industry—an important entertainment lane that we are cultivating.”

Thursday’s EIF event drew Kate Hudson’s personal trainer Nicole Stuart, NBA agent Debbie Spander, AEG community affairs director Erikk Aldridge, senior vice president of external affairs for the Los Angeles Dodgers Naomi Rodriguez, and the four Play Make Her co-founders (CAA Sports executive Lisa Joseph Metelus, The ETC Agency founder Shannon McGauley who is a longtime consultant to NBA All-Star Kevin Love, founder of Sage Business Group Asani Swann who has worked for nine years with NBA All-Star Carmelo Anthony, and Good Carma LLC president Carmen Wilson who has represented NBA All-Stars Chris Paul, Dwayne Wade, DeAndre Jordan, the Lebron James Family Foundation and the Kevin Durant Foundation.)

“There are a lot of places where extraordinary women are doing incredible things together and that’s the spirit of Play Make Her, women supporting women,” says Sexton. “When you have a response from a formidable brand with a very clear vision and aesthetic like Tory Burch, it reinforces that you are doing something special.”

“We’re so pleased with the success of tonight’s event and our partnership with the Play Make Her fund and Tory Sport,“ says EIF vice president of development Tracy Paul. “We look forward to building future alliances; you might even see us at the Super Bowl!”