amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

Diane von Furstenberg, Heidi Klum, Leona Lewis Help Raise $1 Million at amfAR's Milan Fashion Week Event




amfAR Media Contacts: 
Bennah Serfaty, Senior Director of Communications, (212) 806-1607, 
Natalie Jacobs, Coordinator, Media Relations, (212) 806-1694,

Milan, Italy, September 28, 2010---Diane von Furstenberg, Heidi Klum, Alessandra Ambrosio, Dean and Dan Caten, Eva and Roberto Cavalli, Chanel Iman, Cheyenne Jackson, Leona Lewis, Angela Missoni, Margherita Maccapani Missoni, Francesca Versace, and Erin Wasson were among those who gathered last night to support the fight against AIDS at the second annual amfAR Milano benefit. The black-tie gala and live auction, held in conjunction with Milan Fashion Week, raised $1 million for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research.

The event, held at La Permanente, was presented by BMW/Mini, along with media partner Vanity Fair and hotel partner Westin Palace Milano. Proceeds will benefit amfAR’s life-saving AIDS research programs. Diane von Furstenberg and Heidi Klum served as chairs of the event, along with Cristina Lucchini, Christian Kremer, and Milutin Gatsby.

To kick off the evening, amfAR Ambassador and film, Broadway, and TV star Cheyenne Jackson sang a soulful rendition of Elvis Presley’s “If I Can Dream.” Italian jazz singer Simona Bencini also performed during the evening, presenting a cover of “Conversazione” by Mina.

In addition, R&B singer Leona Lewis was inspired to give an impromptu performance when audience members bid up to €20,000 to hear her.  Lewis had the crowd on their feet with her worldwide hit “Bleeding Love.”

To open the live auction, event chair Heidi Klum introduced the first item, an iconic portrait of Marilyn Monroe by the legendary photographer Bert Stern. Klum announced that she was interested in buying the print herself and placed a bid against Roberto Cavalli. The print sold for €42,000.

In a highlight of the auction, event chairs Diane von Furstenberg and BMW Group President Christian Kremer presented a bright red MINI Cooper adorned with colorful lips, designed by Diane von Furstenberg herself.  After announcing that she would go for a drive with the winning bidder, the one-of-a-kind vehicle sold for €80,000.

Other highlights of the auction included:
President Bill Clinton’s Yamaha alto saxophone, autographed by the former U.S. president and presented by model Chanel Iman, earned the highest bids of the night and sold for €100,000.

Francesca Versace and Margherita Maccapani Missoni auctioned off a portrait sitting with Giovanni Gastel in his Milan studio, and spoke about their own memorable experiences sitting for portraits with the famed Italian photographer.  After a bidding war broke out, Gastel agreed to offer the opportunity to both bidders at €50,000 each, raising a total of €100,000.

Through the years, the Italian fashion community has been exemplary in its support of amfAR, with Italian fashion houses and designers underwriting and leading many of the Foundation’s most successful fundraising efforts.  Many notable Italian stars and some of the most influential names in the international fashion community attended amfAR Milano 2010, including Tommaso Aquilano, Neil Barrett, Guido Barilla, Giovanna Battaglia, Marco De Benedetti, Paola De Benedetti, Nadege du Bospertus, Coco Brandolini d’Adda, Maria Buccellati, Fiammetta Cicogna, Luca Calvani, Andrea Colognoli, Diego Della Valle, Pietro Valsecchi, Luca Dini, Samuel Eto, Sarah Felberbaum, Cristina Ferrari, Giampaolo Grandi, Alejandro Gravier, Bob Krieger, Filipa Lagerback, Miriam Leone, Leigh Lezark and Geordon Nicol of the Misshapes, Matteo Marzotto, Lothar Mätthaus, Valeria Mazza, Francesco Maccapani Missoni, Martina Mondadori, Karl Mootoosamy, Alessandra Moschillo, Saverio Moschillo, Sulley Muntari, Massimo Murru, Camilla Nesbitt, Alessia Piovan, Guido Podestà, Camila Raznovich, John Richmond, Roberto Rimondi, Remo Ruffini, Daniela Santanché, Peter Sartogo, Lola Schnabel, Vito Schnabel, Yvonne Sciò, and Victoria Silvstedt.

The after-party at La Permanente continued late into the night, with guests sipping Mumm champagne and dancing to deejays the Misshapes.

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment, education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy.  Since 1985, amfAR has invested more than $307 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

HP is the official technology supplier of amfAR.

For event photos and video footage, please contact WireImage: