It was a cold, yet fun night at GMHC’s Fashion Forward Benefit event last night at the Met Pavilion, where designers, socialites and fashionistas alike came and supported the cause to find the cure for AIDS.
Fashion Forward was created when GMHC was 25 years old as the fashion industry’s response to the AIDS epidemic. Hit early and hard by the devastation of the disease – the deaths of Perry Ellis in 1986, Willi Smith in 1987 and Halston in 1990, the fashion industry rallied to raise both public awareness desperately needed funds to fight the pandemic, bringing the greatest names, brands and energy to the fight, raising millions of dollars and launching countless campaigns such as the CFDA-Vogue Initiative 7th on Sale, which has generated more than $17 million for HIV/AIDS organizations.
The event held both a silent auction, where they had items such as Tom Ford shades, Oscar de la Renta jewlery, and many numerous fashions up for grabs and an open auction held by Sotheby’s and the hosts of the event, Reed Between The Lines actress Tracee Ellis Ross and Rachel Zoe Project’s Brad Goreski, where a bidder paid a whopping $6K for a trip for two to Paris. There was also a huge cocktail reception before the show, where the beautiful people mingled while Melting Pot Global’s DJ Kamala spun deep house and classics.
Fashion Forward held a first: The Inaugural Style Vault Award, which will be presented annually to a company or individual who embodies the highest levels of style and compassionate philanthropy and this year’s first recipient was Julie Macklowe, an investor, former hedge fund manager, and socialite who currently invests in startup fashion businesses and young designers.
There was also a fashion show where 8 of the biggest designers: Chris Benz, Thom Browne, Marlon Gobel, Sally LaPointe, Zang Toi, Timo Welland, VPL and Jean Paul Gaultier, donated their designs to make this benefit happen.
It was a night where I ran into a bunch of familiar friends I have not seen in years. The event was a success and I am glad to be a part of it. Thanks to GMHC for the keeping the awareness of this disease alive and for the heartfelt reunions!