A number of stars attended last month’s amfAR Inspiration Gala New York.
HRH Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway, HBO President of Programming Michael Lombardo, Calvin Klein Collection designers Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Sarah Jessica Parker, Josh Duhamel, Fergie, Matt Bomer, Franca Sozzani, Karolina Kurkova, Zachary Quinto, Alan Cumming, Joseph Altuzarra, Thom Browne, Zac Posen, and M·A·C AIDS Fund Chairman John Demsey were among those who gathered at the Plaza to support amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, at the fifth annual Inspiration Gala New York.
Crown Princess Mette-Marit, HBO, and Calvin Klein Collection were honored at the event for their exceptional contributions to the fight against AIDS. Mr. Duhamel hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised more than $1.2 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives.
The Crown Princess was presented with the amfAR Award of Inspiration by amfAR Trustee Dr. Mervyn Silverman and Vogue Italia Editor in Chief Franca Sozzani, in recognition of her steadfast activism and service on behalf of people living with AIDS around the world. In a poignant acceptance speech, the Crown Princess graciously dedicated her award to the diverse faces of the AIDS epidemic, recognizing “the mothers of Malawi who made a devastating impression on [her], the sex workers in Nicaragua who are still fighting for the right to live a dignified life, the gay communities around the world who have been on the barricades for more than 30 years, and the health workers on the ground who don’t wear gloves when they wipe their patients’ tears, and [her] incredible young HIV-positive friends who demand an AIDS-free next generation.”
Longtime amfAR supporter Sarah Jessica Parker presented the Award of Inspiration to Michael Lombardo, who accepted on behalf of HBO. Ms. Parker praised HBO’s generous corporate support of amfAR, as well as Mr. Lombardo and the company’s commitment to keeping AIDS in the public eye by featuring bold programming through the years that has helped to demystify and destigmatize the disease. Upon accepting the award, Mr. Lombardo acknowledged amfAR Founding Chairman Dr. Mathilde Krim for “providing a much needed beacon of light” by demanding a medical response in the early days of the AIDS epidemic.
Matt Bomer, recently highly acclaimed for his performance in HBO’s The Normal Heart, was joined by dedicated amfAR supporter Fergie Duhamel onstage to co-present the Award of Inspiration to Francisco Costa and Italo Zucchelli, who accepted on behalf of Calvin Klein Collection. Both Mr. Costa and Mr. Zucchelli spoke with hope about the great progress that has been made towards finding a cure for AIDS, due in large part to the fashion community’s committed partnership with charitable organizations such as amfAR.
During the night, host Josh Duhamel gave guests a chance to contribute to amfAR’s exciting new Countdown to a Cure initiative by texting to pledge. When HBO generously agreed to match any contributions up to $25,000, a total of $83,000 was raised for the initiative, which aims to find a broadly applicable cure for AIDS by 2020.
M·A·C AIDS Fund Chairman John Demsey introduced a rare intimate performance by legendary, influential British rock band New Order, who have enjoyed enduring critical acclaim and sold out myriad stadiums over their more than three decades-long career. The entire crowd danced the night away in the Plaza’s Grand Ballroom to a set of the group’s much-adored songs including “Bizarre Love Triangle,” “Your Silent Face,” and “Blue Monday.”
The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a gala dinner, a live auction of luxury goods conducted by Paddle 8’s Alexander Gilkes, and a full-scale menswear runway show, held in the Plaza’s historic Palm Court.
This year, the world’s top menswear designers offered custom-made looks for the runway show featuring the theme of prints. Participating designers included 3.1 Phillip Lim, Alexander McQueen, Balmain, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein Collection, Christopher Kane, CoSTUME NATIONAL, Diesel Black Gold, Dior Homme, DKNY, Dries Van Noten, Duckie Brown, Etro, Fendi, Hood By Air, Issey Miyake, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander, Jonathan Saunders, Kenneth Cole, Kenzo, Kris Van Assche, Lanvin, Lucio Castro, Marc By Marc Jacobs, Marc Jacobs, McQ By Alexander McQueen, Michael Bastian, Michael Kors, Missoni, Moncler Gamme Bleu, Moschino, Opening Ceremony, Phillip Treacy, Ports 1961, Raf Simons, Rag & Bone, Ralph Lauren, Richard Chai, Rick Owens, Robert Geller, Rodrigo Otazu, Salvatore Ferragamo, Shipley & Halmos, Thom Browne, Tim Hamilton, Todd Snyder, Versace, and Viktor & Rolf. Trew Productions was responsible for the runway production and casting. The runway looks were styled by William Graper. Makeup was be provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by L’Oréal/Hairdressers Against AIDS. Fashion show music was provided by Javier Peral. DJ Mad Marj provided music during dinner.
The Inspiration Gala was chaired by Matt Bomer, Thom Browne, Adrianna Burrows, Andy Cohen, Alan Cumming, Robert De Niro, John Demsey, Laura Dern, Simon Doonan, James Franco, Cheyenne Jackson, André Leon Talley, Jennifer Lopez, Thakoon Panichgul, Jim Parsons, Vin Roberti, and Patrick Wilson.
Since its launch in 2010, the Inspiration series has raised $15 million for amfAR, and has been held in such cities as Los Angeles, São Paulo, Paris, Toronto, and Miami. Inspiration events have seen performances from such legendary artists as Katy Perry, Mary J. Blige, Grace Jones, Debbie Harry, Jennifer Hudson, Scissor Sisters, Cyndi Lauper, Courtney Love, Carly Rae Jepsen, and Sinead O'Connor. Recipients of the event series’ Award of Inspiration have included Jennifer Lopez, Alan Cumming, Valentino Garavani, James Franco, Kevin Huvane, Francisco Costa, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Fergie, Michael Kors, Ricky Martin, and Robert Duffy/Marc Jacobs International.
The Inspiration Gala was presented by M·A·C Viva Glam. Microsoft was the event’s Official Technology Partner. Calvin Klein Collection was the event’s Gold Sponsor and HBO was the Silver Sponsor. FIJI Water was the event’s Official Water Sponsor. The Plaza was the event’s Hotel Sponsor. Gloria Ferrer was the Wine and Champagne Sponsor. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR.