Members of the style set took a night off from pre-fashion week preparation on Monday to attend “A Night of Humanity,” to benefit Hope, Help & Relief Haiti, at the Urban Zen Center.
Wyclef Jean, Tory Burch, Calvin Klein, Russell Simmons, Robert DeNiro, Renee Rockefeller and Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. were among the guests at the dinner and live auction, which was hosted by Donna Karan, Mary J Blige, Andre Balazs and music producer Andre Harrell. Indeed, the event–which Karan said was put together in 10 days–made some forget about collections all together. “Seriously, tomorrow morning I’ll wake up and deal with fashion week,” said Karan, “but tonight I am focused on this.”
This story first appeared in the February 11, 2010 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Others felt the same way. Goldberg did her best to get guests to open their wallets during the live auction, but the crowd was reluctant. “Come on white people, speak to me,” the comedienne said. Of one item, she quipped: “This lot is for Lorraine Schwartz, jeweler to the stars, though that b— never made anything for me.”
Jean, who actually worked in Karan’s stock room before his music career took off, told the audience about growing up in Haiti. “I was hungry but I was also happy,” the musician recalled.
Later Blige took the stage and performed hits like “Love is All We Need” and “No More Drama.”
After the event ended, Blige, Karan, Balazs, Jay-Z and Daphne Guinness convened on the 18th Floor of the Standard Hotel for a midnight concert by Jean. The musician played the guitar with his teeth, covered Pink Floyd, freestyle rapped and then climbed across the banquettes and railings — much to the chagrin of the security guards whose job it was to keep him from falling down — and riled up the crowd with uptempo Haitian music.