NEW YORK — Fashion, music and art types will gather tonight at Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Center to help Haiti.
The evening, dubbed Night of Humanity, serves to kick off a long-term program called Hope Help & Relief Haiti, which aims to aid the earthquake-ravaged country immediately, but also rebuild and revitalize it. The initiative was formed by Karan and her Urban Zen Foundation, music executive Andrew Harrell, hotelier André Balazs and The Mary J. Blige and Steve Stoute Foundation for the Advancement of Women Now.
The benefit will also serve to launch “Tents Today, Home Tomorrow,” which plans to create 50,000 tents for homeless families there.
“This launch is what we consider a call to action,” Karan said. “The fashion community, the art community and the music community have galvanized. The long-term plan for it is to build a community. That’s our dream.”
Several tents will be set up around town to bring attention to the program, including at The Standard hotel, Urban Zen Center and Bryant Park. The tents, which can accommodate 10 people and come with a “shelter box” that includes a water purification system, sheets, bedding and a small stove, can be purchased for $1,000. Donna Karan and Edun will also donate T-shirts, for sale at André Balazs hotels, Urban Zen and a Web site the program is hoping to create.
Blige will perform at Urban Zen tonight; Wyclef Jean will give a “State of Haiti” address; Whoopi Goldberg will serve as the night’s auctioneer, and CNN’s Soledad O’Brien will be master of ceremonies. Calvin Klein, Tommy Hilfiger, Tory Burch and Lyor Cohen, and representatives from Ralph Lauren and Diane von Furstenberg, are expected to attend. The event will be followed by “The Relief Party” at The Standard hotel, where Jean will perform and music will be DJed by QTip.
Money raised at the event will benefit Partners in Health, Habitat for Humanity and Yéle Haiti. Future events include a Haitian art exhibit and an evening with Eve Ensler.
“I have never seen such an outpouring,” Karan said. “There is no question, we are living in a disaster right now and it’s not just for the moment. This will be around us for many years.”
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