Fashion 4 Development held its second annual sustainable goals banquet Monday night, kicking off a week of social impact events for the fashionable and philanthropic set.
Convening world leaders, first ladies, diplomats, philanthropists, climate change activists, entrepreneurs and more, the banquet kicked off with a VIP red carpet and coincided with the 77th session of the United Nations General Assembly. True to the mission that F4D founder and president Evie Evangelou held when founding the organization in 2011, the platform supports the aims of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through partnerships, events and social impact-themed programming — something fashion has become quite accustomed to in recent years.
F4D awarded Agents of Change awards to those addressing food security, extreme poverty, education, and those taking action for a healthier planet, preservation of culture and gender equality.
Awards went to: Hugh Evans and Simon Moss of charitable music festival Global Citizen, for “Impact to End Extreme Poverty.” The award was accepted by Liza Henshaw, president of Global Citizen, (celebrating its 10th run this weekend in New York City’s Central Park and Black Star Square in Accra, Ghana); Houston-based Texas Biotechnology Inc. for “Impact in Food Security” with its RezFree product that nurtures soil, accepted by Yunus Dogan, chairman of Texas Biotech; Odessa Rae, filmmaker and producer, CNN documentary film “Navalny” for “Impact Through Film”; Richard Kane, chief executive officer of the private jet company Verijet for “Green Travel,” and Education Above All for “Impact Through Education.”
Mubarak Al-Thani, EAA’s head of development, accepted the award on behalf of the foundation, which was founded by Her Royal Highness Sheikha Moza bint Nasser. “We have successfully convinced governments to rethink their debts and [prioritize] education,” said Al-Thani, upon accepting the award. The EAA’s campaigns have reached 11 million people.
Filmmaker Odessa Rae, upon accepting her award, addressed the importance of film to achieve democracy. Her documentary “Navalny” follows Putin critic Alexei Navalny in his campaign against the Russian president. “I think it’s our responsibility as producers to never underestimate the power of cinema to communicate a message and use that power,” she said.
Performances were many, starting with a voguing session complete with elaborate glittering costumes (one standout wig being a delicate shrub with flowers) and gilded mannequins throughout the Park Avenue event hall.
Dionne Warwick, in a white suit topping a shimmering purple sequined blouse, also performed her 1966 song “What the World Needs Now,” after playing a recording of the new song “Free,” written by award-winning songwriter Diane Warren and produced by Warwick’s son, Grammy Award-winning producer Damon Elliott. The song is part of the initiative Musicians in the Key of Free, in support of refugees worldwide.
Trailing the banquet is the 10th Annual “First Ladies Luncheon” Tuesday celebrating “Ten Decades of Fashion 1920 to 2020,” with special remarks by New York State Senator and “Fashion Act” sponsor Alessandra Biaggi, as well as a film presentation at the Museum of Modern Art Wednesday. In partnership with the Human Kind Institute, the film screening will debut “Human Kind” based on the book “Be Your Own Harmonist” by Lola Till.