Anderson Cooper, Mary J. Blige, Carol Alt, Ellen Barkin, Tyson Beckford, Sandra Bernhard, Laverne Cox, Lily Donaldson, Billy Eichner, Victoria Justice, Heidi Klum, Andreja Pejić, Anja Rubik, Joan Smalls, Alexander Wang, Alek Wek, and amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole were among those who gathered at Spring Studios for the event.
Miley Cyrus and Andy Cohen were honored at the event for their exceptional contributions to the fight against AIDS. Anderson Cooper hosted the black-tie benefit and celebration of men’s style, which raised more than $1.5 for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research initiatives.
Sandra Bernhard presented the amfAR Award of Inspiration to her friend, Andy Cohen, for his longtime support of the organization. Cohen, who has been a supporter of amfAR for over ten years, acknowledged how the HIV/AIDS epidemic has changed since he first moved to New York City in 1990, but that it is far from over. Cohen stressed that “complacency is the enemy, and that is why we still need amfAR.” Referring to amfAR’s goal of finding a cure for HIV, Cohen stated that he “will not give up on a cure, ever. And when they find one in the next few years, I’m expecting a kickass party.”
Laverne Cox and event producer Josh Wood then gave guests a chance to contribute to amfAR’s exciting new Countdown to a Cure initiative, which aims to develop the scientific basis of a cure by 2020, by texting to pledge. This raised over $50,000 throughout the course of the evening, a sum that Miley Cyrus generously matched at the end of the night.
Cyrus was presented with the amfAR Award of Inspiration by her friend and collaborator as part of her Happy Hippie Presents #InstaPride campaign, Tyler Ford, in recognition of her efforts to raise AIDS awareness and end HIV-related stigma, particularly around marginalized youth. Cyrus is currently the spokesperson for M·A·C Cosmetics’ VIVA GLAM campaign, raising $25 million since January for the M·A·C AIDS Fund to help people globally affected by the disease. In an emotional speech, she asked everyone in the audience to say “we love you” to those who have been lost to the epidemic. Recognizing leaders of the fight against HIV/AIDS who have come before her, such as amfAR’s Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor, Cyrus said it was her dream to change the world. While recognizing that “tonight is not a finish line, it is a starting point,” Cyrus promised to continue to fight to end the disease.
The evening’s live auction, conducted by Alexander Gilkes, featured an array of luxury items. The highest selling auction lot was a Mr. Brainwash artwork titled “Juxtapose,” donated from Kate Moss's personal collection. Mr. Brainwash, who was in the audience, is a renowned figure in the underground art scene, and his work sold for $135,000. Another highlight of the live auction was three framed depictions of the Vanity Fair cover featuring Caitlyn Jenner, each one artistically embellished by Miley Cyrus. The three covers were also signed by Caitlyn Jenner, and sold for $69,000. Auction lots were also generously donated by amfAR sponsors Harry Winston and Moët Hennessy, which helped raise almost $50,000.
The evening ended with M·A·C AIDS Fund Chairman John Demsey introducing a performance by multi-platinum selling and nine-time Grammy Award winner Mary J. Blige. The entire crowd was on their feet to a set of the singer’s classic hits including “Real Love,” “Just Fine,” and “Family Affair.”
The black-tie benefit, produced by Josh Wood Productions, also featured a gala dinner and a full-scale menswear runway show.
This year, the world’s top menswear designers offered custom-made looks for the runway show featuring the theme, street-style. Participating designers included Acne Studios, Alexander McQueen, Baja East, Belstaff, Calvin Klein Collection, Christopher Kane, CoSTUME NATIONAL, Diesel Black Gold, Dior Homme, DKNY, Dries Van Noten, Hood By Air, Jean Paul Gaultier, Jil Sander, J.W. Anderson, Kenneth Cole, Lanvin, Lucio Castro, Marc Jacobs, Marcelo Burlon | County of Milan, Michael Kors, Moschino, Neil Barrett, Off-White, Raf Simons, Ralph Lauren, Robert Geller, Rodrigo Otazu, Thom Browne, Tom Coppens, Todd Snyder, Tom Ford, Valentino, Viktor & Rolf, Vivienne Westwood, and Y-3. Trew Productions managed runway production and casting. Runway looks were styled by Nicolas Bru. Timepieces and men’s accessories were provided by Harry Winston. Makeup was be provided by M·A·C Cosmetics, and hair styling was provided by Rodney Cutler for Hairdressers Against AIDS. Show design was provided by Stefan Beckman.
The Inspiration series was launched in 2010 to celebrate men’s fashion and style while raising funds for amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs, and it continues to attract the most prominent and influential members of the entertainment, fashion, and business communities. To date, the Inspiration series has raised more than $20 million to benefit amfAR, and has been held in cities such as Los Angeles, São Paulo, Paris, Toronto, and Miami.
The Inspiration Gala was presented by Harry Winston and M·A·C Viva Glam. Moët Hennessy was the Official Champagne, Wine, and Spirits Partner. Microsoft was the Official Technology Partner. The Points Guy was the Silver Sponsor. Spring Studios was the Gold Sponsor. FIJI Water was the Water Sponsor. Delta is the Official Airline of amfAR.