International Debutante Ball
The International Debutante Ball is an invitation-only, formal debutante ball to officially present young ladies, often from upper-class families, to high society. Founded in 1954, it occurs every two years at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel in New York City.
The International Debutante Ball presents young ladies, often from upper-class families, to high society. It was founded in 1954 by Beatrice Joyce, with the first ball being held at the Plaza Hotel in New York City. The second ball saw it move to the Hotel Astor. With the Astor scheduled for demolition, the 1966 ball was held for the first time in the Waldorf Astoria Hotel, which continues to be the venue. Previously held annually, it is now held every two years. The ball donates money to charity, principally the Soldiers', Sailors', Marines', Coast Guard and Airmen's Club of New York, a social club for members of the United States Armed Services.
Each ball is preceded by a number of events, dinners and parties for the debutantes, including the Bachelor's Brunch. At the ball, each debutante is usually escorted by two men: one military cadet and one civilian. It is by invitation-only; debutantes are usually recommended by a previous debutante or their parents, although ultimately the selection is performed by Margaret Hedberg, the founder's niece, who has run the Ball since 1983.
The ball is considered one of the most prestigious debutante balls in the world. Young women, both from the United States and abroad, are brought together at the ball and the surrounding parties, including daughters of Presidents of the United States, diplomats, nobility, ambassadors and governors.
Notable past debutantes
- Pat Priest, American actress and daughter of US Treasurer Ivy Baker Priest (1954)
- Dede Wilsey, American socialite (1961)
- Tricia Nixon Cox, daughter of President Richard Nixon (1964)
- Julie Nixon Eisenhower, daughter of President Richard Nixon and daughter-in-law of President Dwight D. Eisenhower (1966)
- Vera Wang, American fashion designer (1968)
- Princess Katarina of Yugoslavia, daughter of Prince Tomislav of Yugoslavia (1978)
- Cornelia Guest, daughter of polo player Winston Guest and socialite C. Z. Guest (1981)
- Jennie Eisenhower, actress and member of the Presidential Nixon and Eisenhower families.
- Metropolitan (1990), an Oscar nominated film directed by Whit Stillman depicting the lives of the young, upper-class elites during debutante ball season in New York City. The International Debutante Ball is one of the balls in the movie.
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- International Debutante Ball - Official Website