Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Riccardo Tisci and Kylie Minogue were among those who gathered at the fifth annual amfAR Inspiration Gala São Paulo on Friday to pay tribute to Cher, Felipe Diniz and Jean Paul Gaultier.
The event, presented by Harry Winston and held at the home of Honorary Chair Dinho Diniz, raised $1.8 million for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss, Givenchy designer Riccardo Tisci, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole served as Event Chairs.
The event honored Felipe Diniz, who has been instrumental to the success of amfAR’s Inspiration series in Brazil since its inception; Jean Paul Gaultier, an amfAR supporter and leader in the fight against AIDS for decades; and the one and only Cher, the Academy Award-winning actress, singer, entertainer, humanitarian, and longtime LGBT rights advocate.
The program began with an explosive performance by Grammy Award-winning pop superstar and longtime amfAR supporter, Kylie Minogue. Opening the show with popular hits such as the 2001 global sensation “Can’t Get You Out of My Head” and “Get Outta My Way,” Minogue had the room on its feet and singing along within minutes.
Naomi Campbell, co-host of the event, was thrilled to present the amfAR Lifetime Achievement Award to her good friend Jean Paul Gaultier. Gaultier has been an active and generous supporter of amfAR and the fight against AIDS for decades. His Jean Paul Gaultier Charity Fashion Show in the early 1990s, chaired by Madonna and Herb Ritts, raised $700,000 for amfAR, and in 2014, he collaborated with amfAR to design and produce a special summer tote bag, which raised thousands for the Foundation.
The events producer Josh Wood then presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to Felipe Diniz, who has helped turn the amfAR Inspiration Gala São Paulo into a highly successful benefit event that has raised $8.5 million for AIDS research and services to date. In his remarks, Diniz stressed the importance of acceptance of all people in the fight against HIV/AIDS in Brazil. At his urging, a portion of the proceeds from each São Paulo gala goes to an AIDS organization in Brazil. This year’s event will support HIV prevention research at the Evandro Chagas Institute in Rio de Janeiro.
amfAR CEO Kevin Frost spoke passionately about amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure for AIDS initiative, with the goal of developing the scientific basis of a cure by 2020. Announcing a $100 million cure research investment strategy, Frost stressed that “amfAR has the will, the commitment, and the know-how to get this done, and to truly make AIDS history.”
Frost then presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to Cher. Speaking of her willingness and ability to use her fame for the greater good, Frost described her as one of the great champions in the fight against AIDS. Cher received a standing ovation and encouraged the audience to “help bring an end to this terrible disease” before bringing fellow honoree Jean Paul Gaultier on stage for a kiss.
The evening’s live auction featured an array of luxury items. In an exceptional display of generosity, the auction opened with a $100,000 donation by Felipe Diniz for the Jean Paul Gaultier dress that was being worn at the event by his brother Dinho’s girlfriend, Danielle Pontes. The first auction lot, a signed 1962 Bert Stern photograph of amfAR co-founder Dame Elizabeth Taylor dressed as Cleopatra for Vogue along with tickets to upcoming amfAR Inspiration Galas in New York and Los Angeles, raised $55,000.
The ultimate Victoria’s Secret package included two tickets to the 2015 Victoria’s Secret Fashion Show and VIP after-party, an exclusive behind-the-scenes tour and photo with a Victoria’s Secret Angel, and round-trip airfare provided by Delta Air Lines. The lot was won by two bidders for $50,000 each. The highest selling auction lot was a signed Nina Pandolfo artwork titled Maior que a Imensidao da Paz. Pandolfo, who was in the audience, is one of Brazil’s leading artists and one of the most creative contemporary artists working today, and her beautiful work sold for $80,000.
To close out the official program, one of Brazil’s greatest ever “sambistas,” Alcione, gave an electrifying performance. Alcione, who has had five platinum and double platinum and 19 gold records, kept the room dancing late into the night.
The Inspiration Gala São Paulo’s Platinum Sponsors included Iguatemi São Paulo, Karavelle and MoëtHennessy. Sky was a Silver Sponsor. Fasano was a Bronze Sponsor. Mercedes-Benz was the Luxury Vehicle Partner. Microsoft is amfAR’s official technology partner. Delta Air Lines is the official airline of amfAR. Harry Winston is the official jewelry and timepiece partner of amfAR. MoëtHennessy is the official wine and spirits partner of amfAR.
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 lifesaving AIDS research programs. Inspiration galas have taken place in New York, Paris, Los Angeles, Toronto, Miami,and Rio de Janeiro, raising more than $20 million to date.