Local fans of Lauren Weisberger, whose 2003 bestselling The Devil Wears Prada was made into a popular movie starring Meryl Streep and Ann Hathaway, gathered Saturday on Bethesda Lane for a yoga class, brunch and cocktails to celebrate the author’s new book.
A crowd of around 150 women attended the launch of When Life Gives You Lululemons at the Bethesda Row event. The book stars “image consultant” Emily Charlton, who was an assistant to the infamous editor-in-chief of Runway magazine in Weiberger’s breakout novel. Leaving city life behind to chase after a client, Charlton finds herself in the suburbs of Greenwich, Connecticut.
According to Weisberger, Bethesda gets a shout out in the new book. Not wanting to give too much away, she said the town is mentioned because it’s “a well-to-do suburb of D.C. where a politician might live.”
Those attending the $40-per-person Bethesda Row event received swag bags with hardcover copies of the book, and lemon-yellow yoga mats to soften the cobblestone street while participating in the Vinyasa flow class hosted by Equinox. Brunch and cocktails provided by Mon Ami Gabi on Woodmont Avenue followed the class. The event, organized by public relations company Brand Link DC, was part of Weisberger’s summer book tour.
Credit: Leigh McDonald
During brunch, guests stood in line to meet Weisberger and get their books signed. Staff handed out props of sunglasses and floppy hats so guests could pose behind the pop-up bar’s white picket fence and take pictures mimicking the book’s cover-art.
Women came as far as Manassas, Virginia, to mingle with Weisberger, though not all women chose to participate in the yoga class. After class, the women cooled off with mimosas, bloody marys and bellinis. Bites of French toast and baby quiche also were served.
“I don’t own yoga pants, but if I did I wouldn’t want to wear them in public,” said Kimberly Vaccaro of Oakton, Virginia. Vaccaro said she has attended several of the author’s local events and owns signed copies of each of her books.
Bethesda resident Roger Lesser sat and watched the yoga class. Lesser, who said he used to practice yoga at a Hindu retreat in Massachusetts, said he stopped to observe the event before heading to work on state Sen. Roger Manno’s campaign for the 6th District congressional seat.
Brian and Gaby Chidichimo were taking their usual bike ride along Bethesda trolley trail when they noticed the event. Feeling the 80-degree weather and 60-percent humidity, they’d decided to join in on the fun and have a celebratory drink for Brian’s birthday.
The couple sat opposite Redwood, which closed earlier this year after flood damage, and won’t be returning to Bethesda Row. The Chidichimos lamented the recent restaurant closings, including Spring Mill Bread Co., Gaby’s favorite.
Weisberger, who soon heads to London to promote her new book, wouldn’t commit when asked whether Bethesda might serve as the setting for a future novel.
“You never know,” she replied.