How did you come to know of the organisation amfAR and how did you become involved?
I first got involved with amfAR a few years ago when I was asked to chair their Inspiration gala in Sao Paulo, Brazil.
How is the cause personal to you?
Since the beginning of the epidemic, HIV/AIDS overwhelmed the fashion community, and claimed the lives of so many great people in the industry. Today, there are 35 million people living with HIV, and there is still no cure. I am always willing to give my support to help fund the research that is needed to help us find a cure.
Why do you think so many celebrities and the fashion world have been attracted to this particular organisation?
I think that one of the main reasons why celebrities, and the fashion and entertainment world have supported amfAR for so many years is because of the legacy that the late Dame Elizbeth Taylor, one of amfAR’s co-founders, left behind. She was one of the first celebrities to speak out against AIDS and the stigma and discrimination that affected so many people living with it. She made it fashionable to speak up about HIV, and became one of the loudest voices in the fight against the epidemic.
Many others have followed suit, and have generously donated their time and voices to the cause and to amfAR’s fundraising galas.
Mert & Marcus shot you wearing a Playboy 60th anniversary shirt, proceeds of which went to amfAR. How did the idea for this come about?
Mert and Marcus are great friends of mine and we wanted to do something really fun for my 40th birthday. What is better than being a Playboy bunny? We then asked Marc Jacobs to design the t-shirt, and since we’ve both been longtime supporters of amfAR, we thought it was appropriate to donate the proceeds of the shirt to the organization.
You’ve attended your share of amfAR galas and events – what’s unique about them as compared with other events?
amfAR’s events are known for their unpredictable nature with many of the celebrities in attendance participating in the live auctions or jumping onstage with impromptu performances. The generous funds raised at these events have helped the organization make enormous progress in the fight against HIV/AIDS.
You’re an event co-chair for the Hong Kong amfAR ball. What has been your involvement?
I am always happy to be involved with any of amfAR’s events and do what I can to help raise funds for the event. I’m particularly excited to be DJ’ing the after party as well.
What are you looking forward to at the inaugural Hong Kong event?
Hong Kong is one of the most dynamic cities in the world, and I’m excited to be part of a great event that will bring together so many people from different continents to support amfAR’s efforts to end this epidemic.