Let’s just start by saying, who wasn’t there? Everyone who’s anyone was at the18th annual amfAR New York Gala. The haute affair was held to pay tribute to legendary Academy Award-winning film producer Harvey Weinstein for his longtime support of amfAR and exceptional contributions to the global struggle against HIV/AIDS. Robert De Niro, Harvey Keitel, Leonardo DiCaprio, Jay-Z, Diane Kruger, Uma Thurman, Andy Cohen, Heidi Klum, Blake Lively, Ryan Reynolds, Karolina Kurkova, and amfAR Chairman of the Board Kenneth Cole were among those who attended the star-studded event.
The evening began with an opening by Harvey Keitel and Uma Thurman. The duo welcomed guests and thanked Harvey Weinstein for his enormous contributions to the important causes of our time, particularly the fight against AIDS, because “if the conquest of AIDS requires people who can move mountains, we should all be grateful that Harvey Weinstein is on our side.” The night was filled with incredible highlights. Later on Robert De Niro presented the amfAR Award of Courage to Harvey Weinstein with a heartfelt personal tribute, noting that it is “our good fortune that he puts the same passion, creativity, and devotion” that he puts into his films into his philanthropy. De Niro’s moving moment was followed by a video recognizing Weinstein for his philanthropic efforts and featured kind words from friends Nicole Kidman, Matt Damon, Naomi Watts, Idris Elba, Anna Wintour, Kerry Washington, and Queen Latifah. Weinstein’s leadership of amfAR’s Cinema Against AIDS Gala in Cannes has helped raise $170 million since 1993.
However Weinstein’s fundraising efforts are far from over. At this 18th annual amfAR New York Gala alone over $2 million was raised. Guests enjoyed bidding on exclusive items during the live auction, conducted by Alexander Gilkes. Check out this insane list of items up for auction at the haute event:
- A framed portfolio of ten 1975 Andy Warhol screen prints of Mick Jagger, each signed by Warhol and Jagger, sold for $125,000.
- Model Sara Sampaio and explorer Johan Ernst Nilson introduced a Mongolian expedition trip, which sold twice (once to Leonardo DiCaprio) for a total of $190,000.
- A Timothy White photograph of amfAR’s Founding International Chairman, the late Dame Elizabeth Taylor, sold for$95,000.
- The Weinstein Company offered a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity: a walk-on role in the upcoming Richard Pryor biopic starring Eddie Murphy, Oprah Winfrey, Mike Epps, and Kate Hudson, which sold for $50,000.
- Model Karolina Kurkova introduced exquisite Harry Winston earrings from their “Diamond Links” collection, which sold for $45,000.
The evening also wouldn’t have been complete without two spectacular live performances. Grammy-nominated British pop sensation Charli XCX performed an explosive set of her top hits “Doing It” and “Boom Clap” along with swedish duo Icona Pop who then finished off the evening. Other celebrities in attendance included Emily Ratajkowski, Karlie Kloss, Lewis Hamilton, Jemima Kirke, Adriana Lima, Hailey Baldwin, Jourdan Dunn, among others.
The event wouldn’t have been possible without Signature Sponsors M•A•C Viva Glam and Moët Hennessy, the Mandarin Oriental, New York who was the event’s Hotel Partner, and FIJI Water who served as Associate Sponsor. The 18th annual amfAR New York Gala was presented by Harry Winston.