In Cannes, where glamour and the 7th art are almost synonymous, there is hardly any reception that can rival amfAR’s Cinema against AIDS Gala. Inaugurated by the legendary Elizabeth Taylor in 1993, the yearly Gala gathers the finest of the world of cinema and entertainment, all in the name of finding the cure for AIDS.
Created in 1985 by Elizabeth Taylor, Mathilde Krim and Michael Gottlieb, the American Foundation for AIDS Research (amfAR), has invested more than 366 millons of dollars in the AIDS/HIV research, fostering numerous advances in prevention, treatment and care. One of the most anticipated event of Cannes, the Gala is known above all for its splendor and its legendary live auction that plays a major role in the fundraising for the organization. The 21st annual event held at the Hotel du Cap-Eden-Roc raised a record 35 million dollars for the campaign against AIDS.
One of the major highlights of this year’s auction included a magnificent Serpenti necklace by Bulgari. A long-standing supporter of amfAR, the Roman jewelry House became one of the first corporate sponsors of the organization and has loyally supported over the years. “We are very proud to support amfAR’s critical work in the fight against AIDS, a cause that the film community has supported since the beginning thanks to the passionate work of Dame Elizabeth Taylor a dear friend of the Bulgari brand,” said Bulgari’s CEO Jean-Christophe Babin. The unique high jewelry piece executed in white gold with a 13-ct drop of Aquamarine and 19.2-ct diamonds was presented by Bulgari Ambassador Carla Bruni-Sarkozy. The necklace was especially sought after by very famous VIPs. In a heated bidding battle, Leonardo DiCaprio was out-bid by Justin Bieber, who bought the piece, intended for his mother, for 550,000 dollars.
Amongst the most notable auctioned lots of the 21st edition of the Gala featured a gilded woolly mammoth skeleton installation by Damien Hirst that has fetched 15 million dollars. A trip to space with renowned actor Leonardo DiCaprio raised 1 million, while a collaborative “Red Collection” of evening dresses was sold for 5 million dollars.
Some of the most famous models in the world took the runway to showcase the gowns created by almost 40 celebrated fashion Houses, which this year included Dior, Fendi, Givenchy and Marc Jacobs among others. Notably, Moët & Chandon has also served as the Grand Philanthropist of this year’s edition of Cinema against AIDS. A grand opportunity for LVMH brands to showcase dedication to a worthy cause!