Articles - November 2019


Celebrities and Charity Working Together with the UN in Efforts to Protect Children Worldwide

Just a few months ago, a glittering gala benefit for UNICEF was held with great success on the Italian resort island of Sardinia: It was judged even more successful than the previous year, and looks set to become a fixture on the European charity summer calendar. The gala evening was jointly organized by Italy’s branch of UNICEF and the Italian luxury retailer Luisviaroma to benefit the UN’s work in protecting children worldwide. The venue was Li Neuli Country Club, a five-star hotel and playground in Porto Cervo, Sardinia’s high end tourist resort area, and the evening drew an A-list of celebrities, philanthropists, international socialites, leaders of fashion, and digital personas like Eli Mizrahi (wearing a pale blue caftan).

The program included dinner and a live auction – with The Pianist star Adrien Brody as the auctioneer - at which vintage cars and motorcycles, Chopard drop earrings, and art works by Picasso, Damien Hirst (it sold for $710,000), and Andy Warhol, jostled for attention with the promise of “an evening at home with celebrity tenor Andrea Boccelli,” and an expedition to the Himalayas with environmentalist explorer Johan Ernst Nilson. The mountain climb went for $132,000.

The black-tie bash included performances by two artists from opposite ends of the chronological spectrum: the legendary Dame Shirley Bassey, a prolific performer but perhaps best known for the theme song of the first James Bond movie Goldfinger and British pop star Ellie Goulding – with a surprise appearance by Irish singer and activist Bono.

Star (and fashion) power at the Sardinia gala included a clutch of Missonis led by Angela Missoni, president of the Italian fashion house, and among the actors and models, High School Musical star Venessa Hudgens in a polka dot Carolina Herrera design, Game of Thrones’ Nathalie Emmanuel (in ombre orange gown by Alberta Ferretti), Australian-Lebanese model Jessica Kahawaty, sparkling in a full length gold Miu Miu gown studded with Chopard jewels, Somali-American model Halima Aden well covered in white silk, with a yellow hijab, Victoria’s Secret model Shnina Shayk uncovered in a thigh length mini by Nicolas Jebran, and model Elle Trowbridge in George Hobeika. 

UNICEF is in 190 countries world wide, working to protect and care for children in vulnerable situations. The evening raised close to $4 million for the fund, and the organizers are already advertising same month, same place, for 2020.

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