You will be redirected back to your article in seconds

First amfAR Hong Fund Raiser Assembles Stars, Collects $4 Million For AIDS Research

HONG KONG — With a limousine traffic jam, a pageant of stars, celebrities and catwalk models as a well-intentioned auction effort, the first fundraising event in Hong Kong for AIDS Research Foundation amfAR kicked off in familiar high style.

Michelle Yeoh as honoree and Gwyneth Paltrow as hostess had top billing, alongside leading Asian business woman Pansy Ho and Naomi Campbell, Kate Moss and Victoria Beckham.

The extravaganza was held Saturday night in the Shaw Studios in Hong Kong’s Kowloon district and included a red carpet arrival, cocktails, dinner and auction — and the obligatory after-party.

In attendance was a largely business and corporate crowd, who paid upwards of US$2,580 (HK$20,000) per plate, and a stunning group of women who often towered over their male companions.

Speakers including Yeoh and amfAR chairman Kenneth Cole reminded the audience that the AIDS epidemic is still rampant in Asia – a problem worsened by poor education, discussion of sex as a social taboo and homophobia. Others spoke of amfAR’s campaign to find a cure for the 35 million currently infected by AIDS.

The auction of ceramics, paintings, Harry Winston jewelry and experiences netted over US$2 million. A painting, “Friend” by Chinese artist Jia Aili, was the single most expensive item, selling for US$550,000.

The sale of a day with Leonardo DiCaprio at another benefit event in St. Tropez in July was so successful that the auctioneers expanded the offer from one day to four when four bidders each agreed to pay US$250,000 for the pleasure of the superstar’s company.

Organizers reported that the evening’s final total was over $4 million.

Other stars and celebrities in attendance Saturday included Paris Hilton, Carina Lau, Archie Kao, Wendi Murdoch, Silas Chou, Alex Prager, David Tang, Joana Vasconcelos, Wyman Wong, and model Zhang Zilin.

The official part of the evening rounded off with a five song set by Robin Thicke. Significantly perhaps, he performed a succession of cover versions, before finishing with hit “Blurred Lines.”

And if he was downhearted by last week’s court verdict, which ruled that he had overstepped the line and borrowed too much from Marvin Gaye, it would be difficult to tell from his ebullient and charismatic showmanship. At one stage he stood on his piano. Later he jumped into the crowd to dance with Paltrow and assorted Hong Kong benefactors.

More Scene

  • Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment,

    Robert De Niro Calls for Impeachment, Imprisonment for Trump, Says Maybe Al Pacino Should Lead Instead

    Robert De Niro honored Al Pacino, his longtime friend and four-time collaborator (with Martin Scorsese’s upcoming film “The Irishman” marking their latest pairing), at the American Icon Awards, and then called for a different type of tribute for President Donald Trump — “impeachment and imprisonment.” “You didn’t think you were going to completely get away without [...]

  • Millie Bobby Brown on Her Feature

    Millie Bobby Brown Calls Her Film Debut in 'Godzilla' 'Kind of Unreal'

    Millie Bobby Brown is no stranger to stardom thanks to “Stranger Things,” but she still can’t believe she’s making her feature film debut in the monster reboot “Godzilla: King of the Monsters.” “It’s kind of unreal,” Brown told Variety at the premiere. “I’m like, ‘What is happening right now?’ It’s so bizarre and unreal, and [...]

  • CANNES, FRANCE - MAY 19: Robert

    Robert Pattinson Helps HFPA Donate $500,000 to Refugee Organization at Cannes Event

    The Hollywood Foreign Press Association proved in Cannes Sunday night that the Golden Globes aren’t the only festive bash it can pull off each year. At the glamorous Nikki Beach party held in association with Participant Media, the HFPA donated $500,000 to international aid organization Help Refugees. Co-hosts Robert Pattinson and Helen Mirren along with Quentin [...]

  • Mj Rodriguez, Alexis Martin Woodall, Ryan

    Peabody Winners Talk Empowered Women and Social Justice Challenges on Red Carpet

    The theme on the red carpet at the 78th annual Peabody Awards? Empowering women. On Saturday, Peabody winners gathered at Cipriani Wall Street, and one of the hot topics on everyone’s mind was the wave of female empowerment spreading across the industry. From Peabody’s Career Achievement Award recipient Rita Moreno to shows like ‘Killing Eve’ [...]


    Cannes: Robert Pattinson, Shailene Woodley Attend Starry Vanity Fair Party

    It’s true what they say about Batman being a loner. On Saturday night, Robert Pattinson made his first public appearance since being cast as the new Dark Knight at this year’s Vanity Fair Party at the Cannes Film Festival. But while all the other A-list guests mingled and worked the crowd at the restaurant of [...]

More From Our Brands

Access exclusive content