It may be nearing Oscar week in Hollywood, but it was leaders of the fashion and beauty worlds who took home the honors Thursday night as Tom Ford and Leonard and Judy Lauder were honored at An Unforgettable Evening, the biannual event benefitting the Women’s Cancer Research Fund.
Presented by Saks Fifth Avenue, the event drew stars including Elizabeth Hurley, Victoria Justice, Lisa Kudrow, Gina Gershon, Jessica Hart, Amber Valletta and more. Longtime honorary event chairs Rita Wilson and Tom Hanks were back, as were WCRF founders Quinn Ezralow, Marion Laurie, Kelly Chapman Meyer and Jamie Tisch.
“It’s a little funny I’m getting a Courage Award when honestly the people who deserve the award are the ones who battle this disease and the people who continue to research and fight to eradicate this disease. But anything I can do to raise money and awareness I’m happy to do,” said Ford. “I live with someone who had Stage 4 cancer 27 years ago and he’s alive and well today because he received great care. Cancer is something that I think touches all of us, so how can you not be moved and do everything you can?”
While Jason Derulo had already been named as the evening’s entertainer, the crowd was unprepared for an appearance by a jeans-clad Chris Martin, who serenaded the room on the piano, performing a tribute to George Michael. “I play here every night at 8 p.m.,” he joked.
After requesting that people turn off their camera phones, Martin continued to riff on Prince songs while everyone ate dinner. “Chris Martin’s tip jar has raised $70,000 for breast cancer research,” Hanks said afterwards.
Hurley, a former face of Estée Lauder, presented the Nat King Cole Award to the Lauders, calling Leonard “my American dad.” The cosmetics titan and longtime philanthropist, whose first wife Evelyn Lauder founded the Breast Cancer Research Foundation in 1993, relished his moment on the stage, first telling folks how he and Judy got married two years ago. “Ladies, for those of you who are single, never give up,” he said, before vowing to find a cure for breast cancer.
He then gave Ford (whose fragrance and skin-care brand is part of the Lauder portfolio) a free plug, calling out the designer of his granddaughter Danielle’s dress, adding, “She got it at retail.”