If one needed to get hold of any of New York’s top male models Monday night, chances were they were at Jeffrey Fashion Cares. Since its inception in 2002, Jeffrey Fashion Cares has raised over $5 million for LGBT and AIDS organizations, and has garnered a loyal crowd for its activism, through a silent and live auction and, yes, a men’s fashion runway show.
Gathered at the Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum were designers Brandon Maxwell, Prabal Gurung, Paul Andrew, Thom Browne, Eva Zuckerman, Jonathan Simkhai and Alexis Bittar; models Catherine McNeil, Hari Nef, Ming Xi, Andreja Pejic, Jordan Barrett and Sean O’Pry, and industry friends like Steven Kolb.
While many have followed the event through the years — and across the city, from the Intrepid to the Park Avenue Armory to ArtBeam and back again — it was a first visit for both Andrew and Zuckerman. “I’ve donated to ACRIA several times and I’m pretty passionate about AIDS charities in general,” said Zuckerman, who began selling her jewelry line Eva Fehren with the boutique retailer last year. “It’s a cause very close to my heart. I’d never been to this event before so I was really excited to come. I hear it’s really fun — lots of half-naked boys.”
“This morning when I woke up I started to get very nervous, because there are a lot of models here,” the evening’s host Andrew Rannells told the crowd. “I thought ‘maybe I should quick do a cleanse or something?’”
Monday’s event benefitted ACRIA, the Hetrick-Martin Institute, and Lambda Legal, three organizations working to fight AIDS and support LGBT rights. “Cabaret” actor Joel Grey, who serenaded the crowd with a customized bit from the famed musical, introduced AIDS activist and founder of Treatment Action Group Peter Staley with the 2016 Jeffrey Fashion Cares leadership award, who was initially a tad starstruck. “I can’t believe I’m meeting Joel Grey tonight!” he said.
The runway was expectedly lively, given earlier in the evening many of the well-toned, lanky lads took preference to the tequila bar over the quesadilla station. All in a day’s work.