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Beverly Hills eatery Spago sees its share of stars on any given day, but Thursday night’s inaugural Dream for Future Africa Foundation gala drew an especially fashionable crowd to honor Vogue Italia editor in chief Franca Sozzani.
Co-hosted by Wolfgang and Gelila Puck and Amber Valletta, the event drew Joe Jonas, Ali Larter, Amy Smart, Devon Aoki, Dita Von Teese, Maria Sharapova, Eva and Michael Chow, Angela Lindvall, Karolina Kurkova, Reed Krakoff and Rachel Roy.
This story first appeared in the October 28, 2013 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Although the invitation called for “cocktail attire” that didn’t stop most attendees from donning floor-length dresses. “It said ‘gala’” shrugged Von Teese. “Plus I love getting dressed up.” That left last-minute guests Kim Kardashian and Kanye West, who dropped by for the first course, feeling a bit casual. “I’m thinking we’re a little underdressed,” said West of his black Rick Owens jacket and his fiancée’’s cream Nina Ricci sweater and skirt.
That didn’t stop actor Alex Pettyfer from being momentarily star-struck. “Wow. I love Kanye,” he said. “Hi Kanye! Over here!” he joked as he waved at the oblivious couple.
Things became more serious once the evening got down to business — a four-course meal prepared by Wolfgang Puck, an art auction by Simone de Pury, a tableside serenade by Vittorio Grigolo and a performance by Kenneth “Babyface” Edmonds. “Franca has done so much to shine the light on Africa, its fashion and its people. She’s helped make the garment and fabric industry there a billion-dollar industry,” said Gelila Puck, a native of Ethiopia. “She also gave me my first modeling job,” said Valletta. The jet-setting Sozzani, who has received four honors this month, joked, “Now that I have my award, I can get back on a plane.”