Heidi Klum, Dakota Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Naomi Campbell, Lapo Elkann, Renzo Rosso, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, and many others joined the Italian fashion community in Milan last night to help raise funds for amfAR's innovative AIDS research programs.
The seventh annual amfAR Milano gala was held at La Permanente in conjunction with Milan Fashion Week and presented by Harry Winston. The gala raised more than $1.6 Million for the Foundation, a record amount for amfAR’s Italian gala. OTB Group President Renzo Rosso was honored at the black-tie dinner, which also featured special live performances by Debbie Harry and Icona Pop.
Longtime amfAR supporter and Event Chair Heidi Klum opened the night by thanking the event’s sponsors, and introduced Kenneth Cole, who spoke about amfAR’s efforts to find an applicable cure for AIDS by 2020.
Actress and model Naomi Campbell presented Rosso with the Award of Courage in recognition of his outstanding personal commitment to the fight against AIDS, as well as his leadership in generating valuable corporate support of amfAR by the OTB Group’s brands. Recognizing Rosso as a force of energy that “never stops learning, doing, and giving,” Campbell thanked Rosso for being a committed and generous supporter of amfAR for many years. Accepting his award, Rosso called on his colleagues from the fashion community to use their influence to take on the world’s most urgent problems.
Additional guests included Ciara, Goga Ashkenazi, Dean Caten, Dan Caten, Eva Cavalli, Peter Dundas, Angela Missoni, Remo Ruffini, Franca Sozzani, Hormoz Vasfi, Alessandra Ambrosio, Natasha Poly, Isabeli Fontana, Mina Cvetkovic, Chiara Ferragni, Luca Calvani, Pixie Lott, Stella Maxwell, Jamie Bochert, Nina Garcia, Hannah Bronfman, Binx Walton, Nicola Formichetti, Teresa Missoni, and many others.
The evening’s live auction, led by event producer Andy Boose, featured an array of luxury items. The undisputed highlight of the auction was an opportunity to customize your own FIAT 500 Cabrio. Introduced by Lapo Elkann, the package included a chance to meet with the Garage Italia Customs design team and collaborate personally with Lapo Elkann, for the once in a lifetime chance to design the car to their personal aesthetic taste. This customized car sold to honoree Renzo Rosso for 150,000 euros, and then Mr. Elkann offered to sell the experience again, which sold for 100,000 euros.
Event Chair Michelle Rodriguez, star of The Fast and the Furious blockbuster film franchise, contributed a once in a lifetime experience to the auction by offering a chance to race exotic cars with her on a speedway track in Las Vegas, Nevada. The experience sold twice (once to Lapo Elkann) for a total of 150,000 euros.
Model Natasha Poly helped introduced exquisite Harry Winston sparkling earrings, designed using their signature clustering technique. Titled “The Lotus Cluster,” these earrings, the first from Harry Winston’s yet to be released Lotus Collection, were sold for 45,000 euros.
Other highlights of the auction included:
· Heidi Klum introduced Cracking Art Group’s “Giant Snail (Dark Blue),” part of a public art installation of massive sculptural animals installed across Europe. Vito Schnabel purchased the spectacular sculpture for Heidi Klum for 20,000 euros.
· A signed work by Francis Bacon, the prominent British painter and printmaker, titled Study of the Human Body After Ingres sold for 40,000 euros.
· Two Andy Warhol pieces, a unique Polaroid print titled Valentino and a framed portfolio of the ten 1975 screenprints that Warhol produced of Mick Jagger, each signed by both Warhol and Jagger, sold for a total of 74,000 euros.
· A photograph of Debbie Harry by legendary music photographer Mick Rock, autographed by the singer, sold for 22,000 euros.
· Presenting Partner Harry Winston contributed exquisite diamond earrings to the auction. Titled The Lotus Cluster, these earrings feature two round diamond center stones ranging from 0.30 to 0.39 carats and are surrounded by 48 round brilliant diamonds. Worn by model Natasha Poly and auctioned along with her dress from Roberto Cavalli by Peter Dundas and shoes, this lot sold for 45,000 euros.
The evening also featured two incredible performances. Renowned actress and Event Chair Dakota Johnson introduced a stripped-down performance by Debbie Harry, legendary recording artist and front woman of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American rock band Blondie, who performed some of her legendary songs, including “Call Me” and “Heart of Glass.” Swedish pop duo Icona Pop kicked off the after-party, presented by Vionnet, and kept the crowd on their feet dancing to their hits such as “Clap Snap,” “Emergency,” and “I Love It.” The after-party continued with music from DJ Johnny Dynell, Chopstick & Johnjon, and Sossa.
Harry Winston was the Presenting Partner of amfAR Milano. Moët Hennessy was the Signature Partner. Vionnet was the After Party Partner. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR.
Throughout the years, the Italian fashion community has been exemplary in its support of amfAR, with fashion houses and designers underwriting and leading many of the Foundation’s most successful fundraising efforts. Since amfAR’s first international benefit, held in 1993 during the Cannes Film Festival and hosted by amfAR Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor, the Foundation’s international galas in Milan, New York, Cannes, Venice, Rome, and beyond have become some of the most high-profile and eagerly anticipated charity events in the world and have helped raise millions for critical AIDS research programs.