amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research


Media Contacts:  Bennah Serfaty, amfAR Senior Director of Communications, (212) 806-1607, Caroline Humphrey, amfAR Media Relations Associate, (212) 806-1632,





Event presented by Harry Winston

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Milan, Italy, September 27, 2015—Heidi Klum, Dakota Johnson, Michelle Rodriguez, Naomi Campbell, Lapo Elkann, Renzo Rosso, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, amfAR Global Fundraising Chairman Milutin Gatsby, and many others joined the Italian fashion community in Milan last night to help raise funds for amfAR’s innovative AIDS research programs. The seventh annual amfAR Milano gala was held at La Permanente in conjunction with Milan Fashion Week and presented by Harry Winston. The gala raised more than $1.6 million for the Foundation, a record amount for amfAR’s Italian gala. OTB Group President Renzo Rosso was honored at the black-tie dinner, which also featured special live performances by Debbie Harry and Icona Pop.

Longtime amfAR supporter and Event Chair Heidi Klum opened the night by thanking the event’s sponsors, and introduced Kenneth Cole, who spoke about amfAR’s efforts to find a cure for AIDS by 2020.

Actress and model Naomi Campbell presented Rosso with the Award of Courage in recognition of his outstanding personal commitment to the fight against AIDS, as well as his leadership in generating valuable corporate support of amfAR by the OTB Group’s brands. Recognizing Rosso as a force of energy who “never stops learning, doing, and giving,” Campbell thanked Rosso for being a committed and generous supporter of amfAR for many years. Accepting his award, Rosso called on his colleagues from the fashion community to use their influence to take on the world’s most urgent problems.

Additional guests included Ciara, Goga Ashkenazi, Dean Caten, Dan Caten, Eva Cavalli, Peter Dundas, Angela Missoni, Remo Ruffini, Franca Sozzani, Hormoz Vasfi, Alessandra Ambrosio, Natasha Poly, Isabeli Fontana, Mina Cvetkovic, Chiara Ferragni, Luca Calvani, Pixie Lott, Stella Maxwell, Jamie Bochert, Nina Garcia, Hannah Bronfman, Binx Walton, Nicola Formichetti, Teresa Missoni, and many others.

The evening’s live auction, led by event producer Andy Boose, featured an array of luxury items. The undisputed highlight of the auction was an opportunity to customize a FIAT 500 Cabrio. Introduced by Lapo Elkann, the package included the once-in-a-lifetime chance to meet with the Garage Italia Customs design team and collaborate personally with Lapo Elkann on designing a car to the winning bidder’s personal aesthetic taste. This customized car sold to honoree Renzo Rosso for 150,000 euros, and then Mr. Elkann offered to sell the experience again, for 100,000 euros.

Event Chair Michelle Rodriguez, star of The Fast and the Furious blockbusterfilm franchise, contributed a once-in-a-lifetime experience to the auction by offering a chance to race exotic cars with her on a speedway track in Las Vegas, Nevada. The experience sold twice (once to Lapo Elkann) for a total of 150,000 euros.

Model Natasha Poly helped introduced exquisite Harry Winston sparkling earrings, designed using their signature clustering technique. Titled “The Lotus Cluster,” these earrings, the first from Harry Winston’s yet-to-be-released Lotus Collection, were sold for 45,000 euros.

Other highlights of the auction included:

  • Heidi Klum introduced Cracking Art Group’s “Giant Snail (Dark Blue),” part of a public art installation of massive sculptural animals installed across Europe. Vito Schnabel purchased the spectacular sculpture for Heidi Klum for 20,000 euros.
  • A signed work by Francis Bacon, the prominent British painter and printmaker, titled Study of the Human Body After Ingres sold for 40,000 euros.
  • Two Andy Warhol pieces, a unique Polaroid print titled Valentino and a framed portfolio of the ten 1975 screenprints that Warhol produced of Mick Jagger, each signed by both Warhol and Jagger, sold for a total of 74,000 euros.
  • A photograph of Debbie Harry by legendary music photographer Mick Rock, autographed by the singer, sold for 22,000 euros.

The evening also featured two incredible performances. Renowned actress and Event Chair Dakota Johnson introduced a stripped-down performance by Debbie Harry, legendary recording artist and frontwoman of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame American rock band Blondie, who performed some of her legendary songs, including “Call Me” and “Heart of Glass.” Swedish pop duo Icona Pop kicked off the after-party, presented by Vionnet, and kept the crowd on their feet dancing to their hits such as “Clap Snap,” “Emergency,” and “I Love It.” The after-party continued with music from DJ Johnny Dynell, Chopstick & Johnjon, and Sossa.

Harry Winston was the Presenting Partner of amfAR Milano. Moët Hennessy was the Signature Partner. Vionnet was the After Party Partner. Delta Air Lines is the Official Airline of amfAR. Throughout the years, the Italian fashion community has been exemplary in its support of amfAR, with fashion houses and designers underwriting and leading many of the Foundation’s most successful fundraising efforts. Since amfAR’s first international benefit, held in 1993 during the Cannes Film Festival and hosted by amfAR Founding International Chairman Dame Elizabeth Taylor, the Foundation’s international galas in Milan, New York, Cannes, Venice, Rome, and beyond have become some of the most high-profile and eagerly anticipated charity events in the world and have helped raise millions for critical AIDS research programs.

For more information, visit #amfARMilano

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 $415 million in its programs and has awarded more than 3,300 grants to research teams worldwide.

About Harry Winston, Inc.:  Founded in New York City in 1932, The House of Harry Winston continues to set the standard for the ultimate in fine jewelry and high-end watch making. From the acquisition of some of the world’s most famous gemstones, including the Jonker, Hope and Winston Legacy Diamonds, to adorning Hollywood’s leading ladies on the red carpet, for over eight decades, Harry Winston has been a symbol of the best there is. Headquartered in New York, the company operates retail salons worldwide, in locations including: New York, Beverly Hills, London, Paris, Tokyo, Hong Kong and Shanghai.

About Harry Winston’s Partnership with amfAR:  In January 2015, Harry Winston, Inc., announced a groundbreaking new partnership with amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, that represents the single largest corporate partnership in the Foundation’s history. Through a wide range of contributions including direct financial support and in-kind donations, Harry Winston will help advance amfAR’s efforts to end the global AIDS epidemic through innovative research. 

Harry Winston is the first company to serve as the presenting sponsor for the organization’s 27 gala events taking place across the globe over the next three years. These events are vital to raising more than half of amfAR’s general operating support, enabling the organization to invest wisely in pioneering research and programs. The company will also become a leading supporter of amfAR’s Countdown to a Cure initiative, which is aimed at developing the scientific basis for a cure for HIV/AIDS by 2020.