New York’s dependable and fashionable crowd rallied at Cipriani Wall Street to benefit the foundation for AIDS research.
by SunHee Grinnell
The theme of New York’s annual amfAR gala was #BeEpic about altruistic intent, and indeed it was.
Bold-faced names ranging from Sienna Miller and Scarlett Johansson to Adrien Brody and Buzz Aldrin showed up in freezing rain and snow to empty their pockets in the name of AmFar on Wednesday night, for the annual gala benefiting the foundation for AIDS research. The message of the evening was clear: that there’s a cure in sight and that they are determined to #makeaidshistory by the year 2020.
With auctioneer of the evening Alexander Gilkes of Paddle8 bandwagoning the crowd, a Perrier-Jouet chateau and vineyard experience went for $40K, while a Harley-Davidson Softail Breakout motorcycle donated by Kiehl’s revved-up $30K for the cause. The night’s total has yet to be released, but it is sure to be a generous contribution to the $19 million already raised since AmFar’s inception in 1998. For Chris Salgardo of Kiehl ’s, the charity has been close to his heart for many years; he's helped raise and donate $2 million through his tireless Life Ride efforts.
The night’s hostess, Taraji P. Henson , wound up dancing onstage with her Empire collaborator Lee Daniels, who later in the evening received an honor fromQueen Latifah. Daniels was optimistic about the end of AIDS being near saying, “...we need to fill them with opportunities and hope versus anxiety and fear.” Stefano Tonchi, who was also being honored, reminded the crowd that, “we live in a country where you are allowed to be who you are and allowed to love who you want to love.” News was also made that evening, as Kenneth Cole announced his decision to resign as chairman of the board with the passing of Dr. Mathild Krim, the original founder of AmFar, last month.
Halsey took the microphone towards the end of the evening, crooning a few of her hit songs, dressed in what one might think of as the 21st Century version of Marilyn Monroe’s “Happy Birthday, Mr. President” dress. Halsey’s sparkling gown was made by Julien Macdonald, and she donned an Yves Saint Laurent makeup look —perhaps a preview of her upcoming work with the coveted makeup brand to create new looks for her 6.5 million followers on Instagram. A little-known fact: Halsey is a makeup artist, too!