Cipriani Wall Street in Manhattan was the stage for the fifth annual DKMS Gala, which drew stars ranging from Mary J. Blige, Iman and Rihanna to Pharrell Williams, David Bowie and Cyndi Lauper, and raised a record $2.5 million to support the fight against leukemia and other blood-related cancers.
Held last week, the evening honored Rihanna and Michael Clinton, president, marketing & publishing director at Hearst Magazines.
“Tonight is about raising awareness for something that is ailing so many people,” Williams, who emceed the evening, told WWD. “I lost two grandmothers to leukemia, so I know what it’s like to lose a family member like this.”
Blige performed three tunes, including “One Love,” drawing the room — including Bowie and Rihanna — to their feet. Rihanna dedicated her award to Shannon Tavarez, an 11-year-old actress who lost her battle with leukemia last November.
The evening was an emotional one for DKMS chief operating officer Katharina Harf, who lost her mother to leukemia at 14. At the time, only 3,000 unrelated bone marrow donors were registered, none a match. Since DKMS’ inception, the organization has registered 2.7 million donors, two of whom met for the first time at the gala. Harf noted that the monies raised from the gala would allow the organization to register an additional 40,000 donors. Harf also encouraged attendees to visit getswabbed.org and consider donating their own bone marrow.
Coty Inc. became formally involved with DKMS in 2006, and since that time the company has leveraged its celebrity partnerships to help raise awareness for the cause, said Bernd Beetz, chief executive officer of Coty Inc.
Before the event, Rihanna dished about her new fragrance, Reb’l Fleur. “I didn’t really know what to expect, but I knew I wanted to be very hands-on, and they let me have a lot of control from scratch. My mom was a perfumer, and I was very much into that kind of stuff growing up — but when I had to do it, I had to figure out every type of scent, what I wanted to put together, what worked and didn’t work. It was really an enjoyable experience, down to designing the bottle. Having fans smell like me — that’s the best part.”
Lauper, who just did an OPI shoot with Coty, was traveling with Firmenich’s Theo Spilka, a matchmaker between celebrities and beauty companies — and admitted she’d like to do a fragrance of her own. “That’s why I’m not wearing one tonight — I don’t have one of my own,” said Lauper. “I would like a very elegant fragrance that has a touch of dark chocolate, a touch of burnt orange and a touch of bergamot in it — and maybe a tiny bit of tobacco.” Lauper is also currently writing the music for a new Broadway play, “Kinky Boots.” “Harvey Fierstein is writing the book, and I’m writing the music,” said Lauper, who is also writing an autobiography and will start a new reality series by Mark Burnett in September “about my crazy life.”
Leighton Meester arrived with Vera Wang; the actress is the face of Wang’s new Lovestruck fragrance and was coming from a press event at Wang’s apartment. “I couldn’t get over her kitchen,” said Meester. “I was like, my God, this is the size of my apartment! I would cook a dinner like you would not believe in there!”
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews
“Stranger Things” is getting a new cast member for season 2. Meet @sadiesink_, the 15-year-old who will be joining the Netflix series for its new season. You may recognize her from “The Glass Castle” with Brie Larson and Woody Harrelson, but the Texas native’s next role goes in an entirely different direction. She describes her character, Max, as “a rough and tumble skater girl [who] becomes friends with the boys at school.” The second season debuts on October 27. (📷: @jgreenery) #wwdeye
Amid the Harvey Weinstein controversy, there’s another sector that’s being put under the spotlight for sexual abuse: the modeling industry. While rumors about abuse and sexual harassment of female and male models — and the photographers, agents and others who perpetrated it — have circulated within the fashion world for years, model @cameronrussell started posting stories from models on Instagram last week about abusive situations they’ve encountered — from sexual harassment and molestation to attempted rape. Over 75 have weighed in so far. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdnews
To celebrate its 16th anniversary, @dylanscandybar tapped designers and celebrities to create mosaics out of candy. The mosaics will be auctioned off to support the philanthropic cause of each participant’s choice. Pictured here is the mural created by @aliceandolivia's Stacey Bendet. For a first look at some of the other artwork being unveiled tonight, go to WWD.com. #wwdeye
The annual Veuve Clicquot Polo Classic in Pacific Palisades this weekend drew Kate Hudson, Tracee Ellis Ross, Laura Dern and more. See pictures of the star-studded event on WWD.com. (📷: @chelsealaurenla) #wwdeye
In his new book “Hollywood Royale,” Andy Warhol’s Protégé Matthew Rolston celebrates the Eighties revival of Hollywood glamour. Featuring more than 100 portraits taken by Rolston from 1977 to 1993, the book contains photos of icons like Michael Jackson, Cyndi Lauper, and @drewbarrymore, pictured here in 1991. “Hollywood Royale,” out today, will be accompanied by an exhibition opening at Los Angeles’ Fahey/Klein Gallery on March 1. #wwdeye