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AmfAR’s first Milan event drew a buoyant crowd to art space La Permanente on Monday evening. Janet Jackson, Rachel Bilson, Linda Evangelista, Donatella Versace, Alek Wek and Ferruccio Ferragamo attended the black-tie dinner and auction, which raised money for AIDS research.

“We lost a lot of our friends to this disease, and for us it is crucial to bring attention to this cause,” said Dean Caten, who cochaired the event with twin brother Dan. Evangelista also had a personal connection: her first booking agent died of AIDS in the early Eighties. “We didn’t even know what the disease was back then,” she said.

This story first appeared in the September 29, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

During the lively auction, Renzo Rosso won a black leather, studded jacket, designed by Dsquared and autographed by a string of celebrities, for 36,000 euros ($53,000), while a mixing session with famed French DJ Bob Sinclar went for 28,000 euros ($41,000).

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