New York City kicked off New York Fashion Week in style last night with the annual amfAR Gala. “This event is meant to coincide with fashion week,” Kenneth Cole, amfAR Chair of the Board, told us at last night’s glamorous event held at the Cipriani Wall Street. “The fashion community has always been wonderfully supportive of everything amfAR does, which gives that much more substance to the evening.” And they were out in full force. Karlie Kloss, Chanel Iman, Lindsay Ellingson, and more were among the slew of models who came out to show their support, and designers such as Donna Karan were also in attendance as amfAR announced their latest initiative: Countdown to a Cure for HIV/AIDS by 2020. “It’s just a great, wonderful time in this journey,” Cole continued. “It’s treacherous outside! It’s slushy. It’s cold, and people came all the way downtown anyway, and they come down looking great with smiles on their faces, so we’re very excited about tonight.”
The excitement he described was contagious as a stream of enthusiastic A-list actors, including Robin Wright, Liam Neeson, Ethan Hawke, Jane Krakowski, and more made their way into the venue. “I love these nights!” Krakowski said. “Especially tonight with the fashion element and the beautiful, beautiful people here — I’m hoping [my] personality is going to come out on stage!” And that it did. Her humorous and uplifiting opening remarks set the tone for the evening, as Cole and the rest of amfAR honored legendary photographer Peter Lindbergh and actress Vanessa Redgrave and her daughter Joely Richardson, who received their award from Chelsea Clinton. “A cure for AIDS is no longer just a dream, it’s now a visible, achievable, and as it has always been a necessary goal,” Clinton said in her speech. “I think we should all take inspiration and obligation from how far we have come — those are what will pressure us to finish the job.”As the final remarks were made on stage and the last bids placed, the room prepared to dance the night away to live performances courtesy of two musical legends: Nile Rodgers & The Chic and Grace Jones. And as you can imagine, the uplifting tunes reinforced the positive energy that engulfed the room. To see more celebrity photos from this week, take a look at our gallery!