Leonardo DiCaprio, Whoopi Goldberg, Jason Derulo, Zayn Malik, Dwyane Wade, Gabrielle Union, Zac Posen, Michel Sidibé, Kelly Osbourne, Victoria Justice, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Skylight at Moynihan Station last night to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the seventh annual Inspiration Gala New York. Naomi Campbell and Louis Vuitton Men’s Artistic Director, Kim Jones, were honored at the event for their longtime support of the fight against AIDS. Whoopi Goldberg hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised $1.2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives and featured performances by Jason Derulo and Nico & Vinz.
Other guests in attendance included Anna Cleveland, Josephine Skriver, Alina Baikova, Devon Windsor, Andreja Pejic, Valery Kaufman, Nyle DiMarco, Karrueche, Nicolay Sereba, Vincent Dery, Lindsay Ellingson, Catherine McNeil, Lexi Boling, Felipe Diniz, Alex Lundqvist, Brandon Maxwell, Stephanie Seymour, Harry Brant, Peter Brant, Brian Kelly, and John Demsey, among others.
Master of ceremonies and longtime amfAR supporter Whoopi Goldberg opened the evening and introduced Michel Sidibé, Executive Director of UNAIDS and Under-Secretary-General of the United Nations. Sidibé spoke about UNAIDS’s support of amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for HIV by 2020 and thanked those who have supported amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative. amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, newly appointed International Goodwill Ambassador for UNAIDS, who stated that the cure for HIV has moved “from the realm of fantasy to the realm of possibility, and now, to the realm of probability in the foreseeable future.”
Zayn Malik presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to his friend, Kim Jones, who continues Louis Vuitton’s legacy of support for the fight against AIDS.
Actress and iconic supermodel Naomi Campbell, who has been a devoted supporter of amfAR for 23 years, was then presented with the Award of Inspiration by her friend Wendy Williams. In her acceptance remarks, Campbell dedicated the award to everyone who has been affected by HIV/AIDS, and thanked amfAR “for bringing us to this much more hopeful point,” stressing that “we are nearly there and we are not going to give up.” Following Campbell’s speech, Honorary Chair Kate Moss appeared in a video to send her congratulations to friends Naomi and Kim.
The evening also featured two spectacular live performances, ending with an explosive performance by pop and R&B sensation Jason Derulo, who performed a set of his biggest hits including “Trumpets,” “Wiggle,” “Talk Dirty,” and “Want to Want Me.” Nico & Vinz, who earlier this week performed at the United Nations High-Level Meeting on Ending AIDS, also performed their hit single “Am I Wrong.”
The evening’s live auction, conducted by Andrea Fiuczynski of Sotheby’s, featured an array of luxury items and exclusive experiences. Highlights included:
- A private portrait sitting with one of today’s most influential photographers, Steven Klein.
- A surprise package to attend the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation’s annual gala in St. Tropez.
- A photograph by legendary photographer Herb Ritts, titled Backflip, Paradise Cove.
- Donuts (Chocolate), a work by the world’s most famous and mysterious street artist, Banksy.
- An opportunity to explore the stunning Tiger’s Nest Monastery, the most sacred monastery in Bhutan, with adventure explorer and world record holder Johan Ernst Nilson.
- Exclusive Louis Vuitton scarves, donated by honoree Kim Jones.
The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a full-scale menswear runway show. This year, the world’s top designers offered looks for a “Jet Set”-themed fashion show. Participating designers included Acne Studios, Alexander McQueen, Calvin Klein Collection, Diesel Black Gold, DSQUARED2, Givenchy, Helmut Lang, Kenneth Cole, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Michael Kors, Missoni, Salvatore Ferragamo, Thom Browne, Todd Snyder, Valentino, and Versace, among others. The runway looks were styled by Benjamin Sturgill. Makeup was provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by Rodney Cutler for Hairdressers Against AIDS. Runway Production and Casting were provided by Trew Productions. Décor was provided by Raul Avila, and music was provided by Honey Dijon.
amfAR Trustee R. Martin Chavez and Adam Norbury served as Event Hosts. Marc Jacobs, Quincy Jones, Michael Kors, Kate Moss, Zac Posen, Rihanna, Mario Testino, and Riccardo Tisci were Honorary Chairs. Event Chairs included Mert Alas, Jim Clerkin, amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole, Fran Cutler, Alan Cumming, John Demsey, Paolo Diacci, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Bethann Hardison, Neil Patrick Harris and David Burtka, Nayla Hayek, Cheyenne Jackson, Brian C. Kelly, Shayne Oliver, Marcus Piggott, Vincent Roberti, and Dwyane Wade and Gabrielle Union.
Harry Winston, M·A·C Viva Glam, and The Points Guy were the Presenting Sponsors. Moët Hennessy and Windows were the event’s Signature Sponsors. Reca Group was the Fashion Show Sponsor.
Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Moët Hennessy is amfAR’s Official Wine and Spirits Partner.
The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 by amfAR and Josh Wood Productions to celebrate men’s style and fashion while raising funds for the Foundation’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami, São Paulo, and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $26 million to date.
amfAR held its annual New York Gala last night to honor the Chairman of the Board of amfAR, designer Kenneth Cole, legendary performer and amfAR Ambassador Janet Jackson, and supermodel Heidi Klum, for their exceptional contributions to the global struggle against HIV/AIDS. The black tie benefit was held at Cipriani Wall Street, and featured a special performance by Grammy-winning recording artist CeeLo Green.
The Gala was also the official launch to Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week, marking the start of the Fall 2013 Collections at Lincoln Center, February 7-14. Mayor Michael Bloomberg was on hand for the ribbon cutting ceremony to kick things off.
Mr. Cole’s contributions to amfAR and the fight against AIDS are innumerable. He has served on amfAR’s Board of Trustees for more than 25 years, becoming chairman in 2004. Mr. Cole was one of the first public figures to speak out about the issue of AIDS, and through his company, Kenneth Cole Productions, he has created powerful public awareness campaigns to combat HIV-related stigma and complacency about the AIDS epidemic.
Janet Jackson has been involved with amfAR for the past 15 years. In 1997 she donated all the proceeds of her hit single “Together Again” to the Foundation, and as an amfAR Ambassador, she has chaired many of amfAR’s most important benefit events, using her visibility as a musical icon to help improve the lives of people living with HIV/AIDS around the globe. Read The Rest