NEW YORK — With practically every major world leader in town for the opening of the United Nations General Assembly, there was no shortage of political heavyweights at Tuesday night’s Appeal of Conscience Foundation Awards Dinner.
They came to tip their hats to the interfaith organization founded by Rabbi Arthur Schneier, and celebrate the night’s three honorees: LVMH Moët Hennessy Louis Vuitton chairman and chief executive officer Bernard Arnault, The Coca-Cola Co.’s chairman and ceo Muhtar Kent and Britain’s Prime Minister Gordon Brown.
The eclectic dais at the Waldorf-Astoria Hotel, where the gala was held, featured three tiers of tables filled with dignitaries, religious leaders and other well-known figures, including two of the three honorees (Brown attended a press conference earlier, but was unable to stay for the dinner due to a commitment at the U.N.), as well as Bono, Henry Kissinger, Rupert Murdoch, Ray Kelly, Donna Karan, Wilbur Ross and several clergy, including Archbishop Demetrios, head of the Greek Orthodox church in America.
“Having just come from the Clinton Global Initiative, the honoring of Bernard Arnault by the Appeal of Conscience Foundation confirmed my belief that a world commitment to compassion and change is the only solution in this world of chaos,” Karan said. “Bernard Arnault through his passion for creativity and inspiration has realized a vision where commerce and philanthropy can connect to create a new paradigm for the business model.”
Guests in the ballroom included Arnault’s wife, Helene, who was seated next to Queen Rania of Jordan; his son, Antoine, who shared a table with Uma Thurman; his daughter, Delphine; Monica Seles; Natalia Vodianova, and several senior LVMH executives, including Sidney Toledano, Antonio Belloni, Renaud Dutreil and Mark Weber.
Raising a toast, Bono called Arnault “the quietest storm that ever blew into town.”
Arnault gave a heartfelt acceptance speech that touched on everything from luxury — “Luxury is the opposite of anonymity and standardization” — to the importance of sustainability — “Whatever the cause of the problems that affect our planet, such as climate changes, scarcity of water and other resources, pollution and the end of biodiversity, their impact must change our behavior.”
He cited Antoine de Saint-Exupéry, who once said, “We do not inherit the earth from our ancestors; we borrow it from our children.”
Arnault credited his talks with Rabbi Schneier ranging from China to the psychology of Vladimir Putin and the necessity for peace in the Middle East for giving him “greater serenity in life.”
“In the course of our journeys, in Asia, in America and in Europe, we have met both ordinary and exceptional people,” Arnault said. “We have traveled separate paths, but we have reached the same conclusion. The forces and shared interests that should bring the people of our world together are far stronger than the perceived differences among them.”
The event, which raised more than $2 million, also featured a performance by violinist Laurent Korcia on the Zahn Stradivarius (1719) violin, which is on loan from LVMH.
The night also offered plenty of more lighthearted moments. At the press conference earlier, Brown, somewhat embattled at home, expressed his admiration for Kissinger, and said he had learned much from him and his various books — though he was hoping for the former secretary of state to pen a book on “how to win elections in a recession.”
And Arnault and Kent even had an opportunity for an amicable jab at each other’s expense. “I have great respect for Mr. Kent and the Coca-Cola Co., though I do admit to preferring my bubbles to theirs,” Arnault, whose stable of brands includes Dom Pérignon and Veuve Clicquot, said in his acceptance speech. The Coca-Cola chief responded, “Speaking of Dom Pérignon, the last time I was in Paris, I ordered an ice-cold Coca-Cola at a cafe, and the waiter just smiled and said, ‘Ah, American Champagne.’ Bernard, whether they are your bubbles or my bubbles, they are good.”
@pantone announced their Color of the Year 2018: Ultra Violet. Nearly 20 months after the musician Prince’s death, fashion is having a purple moment. Varying shades of purple appeared on spring or fall runways, from @christopherkane to @calvinklein. @gucci’s Alessandro Michele bathed his fall runway in ultra violet-colored light at one point. Pantone 18-3838 is meant to “push the boundaries of what inspires us to look upward and outward to the future.” #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @kukukuba)
@badgalriri’s @fentybeauty launch in September was a massive success on social media, powering $72.9 million of earned media value, according to Tribe Dynamics. The brand’s foundation offering sparked conversations about diversity in beauty, launching the growth of emerging influencers and propelling the brand’s support on social media. Today, #fentybeauty won Launch of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📷: Chema Moya/EPE-EFE)
@marianna_hewitt has become one of the most influential content creators in the beauty space, with almost 800,000 Instagram followers and a newly launched skin care line called @SummerFridays. Today, she was awarded Influencer of the Year at the WWD #BeautyIncAwards. (📸: @sophiachabbott )
As shopping behaviors evolve, the retail experience must follow. Head over to retail experts @colliersinternational’s Knowledge Leader series to read more about the shift in our shopping era. #colliersretail #lovecolliers
@prada opened a pop-up club, called Prada Double Club, in collaboration with German artist Cartsen Höller at @artbasel Miami. Last night, guests – including @youngparis, @ritaora and even Miuccia Prada herself – gathered in a former ice factory where the pop-up is housed for a performance from @wyclefjean. Go to WWD.com for full coverage on all the exhibits, parties and more at #ArtBaselMiami. #wwdeye (📷: @lexieblacklock)
@louboutinworld and @disney are making magic once again, creating a set of shoe designs for the release of “Star Wars: The Last Jedi.” Louboutin designed a pair of shoes for each of the film’s four female leads: Rey (@daisyridrey), Vice Admiral Amilyn Holdo (@lauradern), Captain Phasma (Gwendoline Christie) and Rose Tico (@kellymarietran). The shoes will debut on Saturday at the L.A. premiere of the latest episode. #wwdfashion
Today at the #BeautyIncAwards 2017, WWD will be joined by beauty leaders from around the world as we honor this year's most innovative people, products, brands and places. Follow along here and on Twitter for live coverage from the exclusive event. #wwdsummits (📷: @elizaflorendo)
Exclusive: Beauty superinfluencer @marianna_hewitt is launching her first-ever skin care brand with her business partner @laurengores. Their new line Summer Fridays, which will be sold exclusively at summerfridays.com starting in January, is launching with just one product – a hydrating cream Jet Lag Mask. “We wanted to focus on one product that was amazing,” said Hewitt. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdbeauty #wwdnews
Michelin star-rated chef PJ Calapa marks his first solo endeavor with today’s opening of @scampinyc –– the new Southern Italian restaurant located in Manhattans’ Flatiron District. The upscale yet welcoming environment matches the menu, which includes two types of scampi: traditional Italian langoustines in butter and the Americanized version with shrimp over pasta 🍤 - pictured here. #wwdeye (📷: George Chinsee)