The 26th annual amfAR Gala Cannes raised more than $15 million last week in support of amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, and its pursuit of a cure for HIV/AIDS.
The star-studded black-tie event held at the Hôtel du Cap-Eden-Roc in Antibes, France, during the Cannes Film Festival, was presented by Chopard, JOLLYONE, and Young Merry Real International Group.
The evening opened with a surprise performance by Austrian operatic tenor Andreas Schager, whose powerful rendition of “Nessun Dorma” set the stage for a spectacular line-up of musical guests. Global superstar Mariah Carey had the audience singing along to her chart- topping hits “Emotions” and “Always Be My Baby.” Legendary singer Tom Jones performed iconic songs such as “Soul of a Man” and “It’s Not Unusual.” British rock band The Struts performed their hit single “Body Talks”. The night concluded with an electrifying performance by Grammy Award-winning singer songwriter Dua Lipa, who had guests dancing with hits “One Kiss,” “Electricity,” “IDGAF,” and “New Rules.” Charli XCX continued the night’s entertainment at the exclusive After Party.
Event Host Chris Tucker welcomed guests and introduced longtime amfAR supporter and amfAR Ambassador Milla Jovovich, who emphasized that funds raised during the evening directly impact amfAR’s lifesaving research efforts, which are “bringing us closer and closer to a cure.” She then thanked the event’s sponsors for their generosity and welcomed amfAR Chairman of the Board William H. Roedy to the stage.
Roedy shared the staggering fact that in the past year, over one million people died of HIV/AIDS, which remains “the worst pandemic in modern history.” He commended the tremendous progress being made and emphasized the importance of the evening, as this event has made it possible to “launch a new set of investments.” amfAR’s IciStem consortium has played a central role in the recent case of the London patient, who may be only the second person to have been cured of HIV.
Guests took Mr. Roedy’s words to heart and bid generously in the evening’s live auction, which included a variety of one-of-a kind luxury items and experiences, many of which were introduced by celebrities in the room. Simon de Pury and Aileen Agopian were the auctioneers. Highlights of the auction included Takashi Murakami’s platinum Yume Lion sculpture that sold for $2 million, a Vita electric power boat that sold for $1.2 million, a once-in-a-lifetime trip to the Hilandar Monastery on Mount Athos, which sold for $670,000; and a Gualtiero Vanelli marble Mickey Mouse sculpture, which sold for $500,000.
A stunning feature of the evening was the We Can Be Heroes Collection fashion show curated by longtime amfAR supporter Carine Roitfeld. The collection featured one-of-a-kind looks from the world’s most celebrated fashion houses. Participating designers included Balmain, Bosideng, Celine, Chanel, Dior, DSQUARED2, Fendi, Giambattista Valli, Givenchy, Gucci, Loewe, Louis Vuitton, Marc Jacobs, Miu Miu, Off-White, Prada, Saint Laurent, Tom Ford, Versace, and more. The show was accessorized with High Jewelry by Chopard. Some of the world’s top models participated in the runway presentation, including Cindy Bruna, Winnie Harlow, Elsa Hosk, Martha Hunt, Kendall Jenner, Stella Maxwell, Sara Sampaio, Josephine Skriver, and more. The We Can Be Heroes Collection was auctioned off in its entirety for over $1.15 million.
Other auction highlights included:
A screen print of Mick Jagger by Andy Warhol, signed by both
Daniel Buren’s acrylic glass piece Tondo n°7
Big Blockhead, a painting by Eddie Martinez
Vasily Klyukin’s sculpture Passion and Harmony
A one-of-a-kind MV Agusta motorcycle: deigned by Lewis Hamilton
A pair of acquamarine,and diamond Chopard earrings along with a L.U.C. Azur men’s timepiece
A five-night stay for eight guests on the private Thanda Island off the coast of Tanzania
Petroloumonsters, a painting by Kenny Scharf painting
Chris Levine’s Lightness of Being, a silkscreen portrait of Her Majesty Queen Elizabeth II
Mel Bochner’s Blah, Blah, Blah oil on canvas
Stab Your Demoniac Smile to My Brain, a sculpture by Ragnar Kjartansson
A heli ski trip with Freestyle Ski World Champion Manu Gaidet
An unforgettable trip through Myanmar with Johan Ernst Nilson
Prince Lorenzo de Medici’s custom designed supercar, the Slingshot, and chance to spend an exclusive day with the prince in
Event Chairs in attendance included amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, Henry Golding, Milla Jovovich, Karolina Kurkova, Rolando Lekaj and Yu Wenhong, Eva Longoria, Andie MacDowell, Natasha Poly, amfAR Chairman of the Board William H. Roedy, Carine Roitfeld, and Caroline Scheufele.
Other guests in attendance included Pamela Anderson, Patricia Arquette, Lidia Baich, Antonio Banderas, Jordan Barrett, Ana Beatriz Barros, Odell Beckham Jr., Noel Berry, Orlando Bloom, Ian Bohen, Bianca Brandolini, Adrien Brody, Cindy Bruna, DJ Cassidy, Dean and Dan Caten, Hailey Clauson, Olivia Culpo, Caroline Daur, Dilone, Nina Dobrev, Giovanna Battaglia Engelbert, Chiara Ferragni, Daphne Groenevald, Leonie Hanne, Winnie Harlow, Maya Henry, H.E.R., Danielle Herrington, Tommy Hilfiger, Elsa Hosk, Martha Hunt, Kendall Jenner, Kris Jenner, Marjan Jonkman, Valery Kaufman, Nadine Labaki, Brandon Thomas Lee, Lara Leito, Julian Lennon, Adriana Lima, Praya Lundberg, Ross Lynch, Stella Maxwell, Lorena Rae, Coco Rocha, DJ Ruckus, Remo Ruffini, Luka Sabbat, Sara Sampaio, Carlo Sestini, Josephine Skriver, Lucky Blue Smith, Jasmine Tookes, Chris Tucker, Christoph Waltz, Rebel Wilson, and more.
Chopard, JOLLYONE, and Young Merry Real International Groupwere the Presenting Sponsors of the amfAR Gala Cannes. Absolut Elyx, Bosideng Down Wear Limited, Kodiak Pictures, Nickel City Pictures, and Perrier-Jouët were the event’s Signature Sponsors.
Since amfAR’s late Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor hosted the first amfAR Gala Cannes in 1993, the event has become the most coveted ticket in Cannes. The annual galas have been important and successful fundraising events for the Foundation for over two decades, generating more than $235 million for amfAR’s life-saving research programs and keeping the fight against AIDS in the global media spotlight. amfAR continues to fund HIV/AIDS researchers worldwide, and works to translate their research into effective policy, prevention, and treatment education programs around the globe.