amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research

James Franco and Michael Kors Honored at amfAR's NY Inspiration Event Celebrating Men's Style


Performances by Jennifer Hudson, Courtney Love, and Liza Minnelli


For Immediate Release

Media Contacts:
Bennah Serfaty–Senior Director, Communications,
Natalie Jacobs–Media Coordinator,

New York, NY, June 15, 2011—Heidi Klum, Jennifer Hudson, Liza Minnelli, Ke$ha, Courtney Love, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Andy Cohen, Chanel Iman, Cheyenne Jackson, Judith Light, Lance Bass, Alek Wek, Roberto Bolle, and Rufus Wainwright were among those who came out to support amfAR and pay tribute to actor James Franco and designer Michael Kors at the second annual Inspiration Gala New York last night at the Museum of Modern Art.  The gala, which was presented by Reca Group, raised more than $700,000 for AIDS research.

Heidi Klum presented Michael Kors with the amfAR Award of Courage for his stellar leadership in the fight against AIDS. James Franco received the Piaget Award of Inspiration for his humanitarian work and contributions to men’s style.  “I’ve had many people in my life who were affected by AIDS,” said Mr. Franco after his friend Ryan Trecartin presented him with the award, “and organizations like amfAR have helped friends of mine get the treatment they need.”

Grammy- and Academy Award-winning artist Jennifer Hudson kicked off the program with “I Am Changing” from the movie Dreamgirls, and a rendition of “Hallelujah.”  Courtney Love performed a cover of the Rolling Stones’ “Under My Thumb.”  amfAR Ambassador Liza Minnelli, a longtime and faithful supporter of the Foundation, closed out the night with a performance that included “I Must Have That Man.”

Guests wore outfits inspired by the evening’s design theme, Black Tie/Hot Metal, a concept that was celebrated in a fashion show featuring original looks donated by some of the world’s most notable designers. Alexander McQueen, Alexander Wang, Atelier, Bottega Veneta, Calvin Klein Collection, DSquared2, Yves Saint Laurent, Piaget, Michael Kors, Jean-Paul Gaultier, Elie Tahari, Marc Jacobs, Giorgio Armani, Thom Browne, Vivienne Westwood, Hugo Boss, and Kenneth Cole were among the designers who contributed to the runway show. Wilhelmina Models flew in their top models from around the world to walk the runway.

In addition to the fashion show, the evening included specially crafted Grey Goose cocktails, dinner, and live and silent auctions. Many of the pieces featured in the runway presentation were offered up for bid in the silent auction. The live auction, conducted by Lydia Fenet, featured several one-of-a-kind experiences.  A “day in fashion” with Mr. Kors, which included tickets to the designer’s show during New York Fashion Week, tickets to the Project Runway finale, a meet-and-greet with Mr. Kors and Heidi Klum, and a $10,000 shopping spree at his NYC store, sold for $20,000. James Franco also donated a private photo shoot to the auction, which included the chance to be personally photographed by Mr. Franco, raising $16,000.

Honorary chairs for the evening included Hamish Bowles, Thom Browne, Andy Cohen, amfAR Chairman Kenneth Cole, Nicola Formichetti, Cheyenne Jackson and Monte Lapka, Heidi Klum, Courtney Love, Sean Patterson, and Italo Zucchelli.

The Inspiration Gala New York is part of a series of events celebrating men’s style that benefits the Foundation’s innovative AIDS research programs. A partnership between amfAR and Josh Wood Productions, the series also includes events in Paris, São Paulo, and Los Angeles.

Sponsors of the Inspiration Gala New York include: Reca Group (Presenting Sponsor), Piaget (Award of Inspiration Sponsor), Wilhelmina Models (Runway Sponsor), Hugo Boss (Fashion Presentation Sponsor), Bodhi Bags (Fashion Accessory Sponsor), Grey Goose Vodka (Luxury Spirits Provider), Audi (Car Sponsor), B&B Italia (Décor Sponsor), Coloredge – New York + Los Angeles (Large Format Print Sponsor), Jeff Leatham (floral installations), Hairdressers Against AIDS/L’Oréal Professional Products Division (hair styling), Bubble Lounge/Deutz (Champagne Sponsors), and Mondrian SoHo (Hotel Sponsor).

About amfAR
amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research, is one of the world’s leading nonprofit organizations dedicated to the support of AIDS research, HIV prevention, treatment education, and the advocacy of sound AIDS-related public policy. Since 1985, amfAR has invested nearly $325 million in its programs and has awarded grants to more than 2,000 research teams worldwide.

About Josh Wood Productions
Josh Wood Productions is dedicated to creating provocative and socially conscious events, concerts, festivals, theatrical productions, political fundraisers, and nightlife. Recent projects include the creation of the amfAR Inspiration Gala series in New York, Paris, and Los Angeles honoring Jean-Paul Gaultier and the Ricky Martin Foundation; “America: Now & Here,” a national touring exhibition of the greatest living artists in Americ,a including Paul Simon, Cindy Sherman, and Julian Schnabel; and the Highline Festival curated by David Bowie. Raising money for nonprofits as diverse as Oxfam, Downtown for Democracy, Rock the Vote, the Guggenheim Foundation, and the Royal Shakespeare Company, among others, events have featured artists from Kylie Minogue to Lady Gaga, David Bowie to Lou Reed, and Arcade Fire to Pink.

Reca Group
For more than 50 years, Reca Group, founded by the Diacci family, has been bringing the values of “made in Italy” to the production of labels, hangtags, and packaging. Enterprising and dynamic under the direction of its president, Mr. Paolo Diacci, Reca Group became a leader in the international market of trimmings. The continuous research into innovative materials and techniques, the well-balanced and creative designs, and customer oriented service have permitted the Italian company to establish “fil rouge” with the best-known brands in the fashion industry. For more information, visit

HP is the official technology supplier of amfAR.
Delta is the official airline of amfAR.