Inside amfAR’s Glamorous Inaugural Hong Kong Gala

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Kate Moss
Kate Moss

Photo Credit: Jaime Olleros/Getty Images

One of the most glamorous and philanthropic events of the year thus far was amfAR’s inaugural gala in Hong Kong over the weekend. Over the course of just one evening, the organization raised $4 million for AIDS research.

On March 14th, a star-studded crowd gathered at Shaw Studios to raise funds and give back. Michelle Yeoh received special recognition during the evening for her contributions to the global struggle against HIV/AIDS. the award was presented by her good friends Sir David Tang, Silas Chou and Pansy Ho.

Victoria Beckham
Victoria Beckham

Photo Credit: Jaime Olleros/Getty Images

Kenneth Cole, amfAR’s Chairman of the Board, spoke of amfAR’s accomplishments and its goal of finding a cure for HIV/AIDS by 2020, while the event chair Ho highlighted the importance of Hong Kong’s involvement in the global fight against AIDS. Other influencers working with the event included Honorary Chair Gwyneth Paltrow and event co-chairs Victoria Beckham, Kate Moss and Naomi Campbell.

During the sensational soiree,  guests bid on exclusive items during a live auction, conducted by the debonair Simon de Pury, which raised more than $2 million on its own. Highlights of the auction included a surprise donation from amfAR’s long-time supporter Leonardo DiCaprio, which was announced and orchestrated on-site by amfAR’s Global Fundraising Ambassador Milutin Gatsby. DiCaprio donated two tickets at his personal table to the Leonardo DiCaprio Foundation Gala in St. Tropez to occur in July. In addition to attending the gala, the item offered tickets to the event’s after party and an invitation to relax on DiCaprio’s yacht the day after. After a round of lively bidding by four different guests offered $250,000 each, with a total of $1 million being raised; a Jai Aili Friend oil canvas (2011) started at a healthy bid of $200,000, and hands immediately shot into the air across the room. After a quick but rigorous round of bidding, the painting sold for $550,000; a Harry Winston Forget-Me-Not Necklac featuring 189 marquise, pear-shaped and round brilliant diamonds in a lariat-style and weighs a total of 17.14 carats, set in platinum; and a trip to New York City to attend Marc Jacobs’ Spring/Summer Fashion Show in February 2016.

Gwyneth Paltrow
Gwyneth Paltrow

Photo Credit: Jaime Olleros/Getty Images

Robin Thicke rounded out the evening, getting the audience on their feet with his performance of his chart-topping hits “Blurred Lines,” “Give It To You” and “Magic.” He also kept the crowd dancing with his cover of Michael Jackson’s “Rock With You.”

Event Co-Chairs of the amfAR Hong Kong also included Veronica Chou, Serge Dumont, Vinay Dube, Larry Gagosian, Milutin Gatsby, Nayla Hayek, Emily Lam Ho, Jean-Marc Lacave, Cathy Lee, Xin Li, Wendi Murdoch, Michelle Ong, Dee Poon, David Tang, Claudine Ying, Andrew Yuen and Yvette Yung.  The event’s presenting sponsors included Harry Winston, Marc Jacobs and MGM China Holdings;  signature sponsors included Delta Air Lines, Island Shangri-La, Hong Kong, and Moët Hennessy. Microsoft was the Official Technology Partner.

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