I won’t lie. Heidi Klum and Tim Gunn’s latest reality show, Making the Cut, helped get me through the first month of stay-at-home orders. Watching a crop of super talented (and likeable) fashion entrepreneurs compete for a million bucks—and face the withering commentary of Naomi Campbell—well, it offered exactly the kind of tense-yet-glamorous escape I didn’t know I needed.
And I want more!
Luckily, amfAR, The Foundation for AIDS Research has got my fashionista fix: CR Runway with amfAR against COVID-19: Fashion Unites. It’s a virtual self-filmed fashion show fundraiser that will stream worldwide on YouTube on Friday, May 1, at 4pm Eastern Time and 1pm Pacific Time. And every viewer can score a front row seat.
The CR in the event’s title stands for Carine Roitfeld, the French fashion editor who, along with a pair of the most iconic eyebrows since Frida Kahlo—helmed Vogue Paris from 2001 to 2011 before becoming the founder and editor-in-chief of CR Fashion Book. Of note: She was also a judge on Making the Cut.
More important, Roitfeld is a longtime supporter of amfAR, notably by curating a runway show for the annual amfAR Gala Cannes in which the clothes are auctioned off in a single lot. She has raised millions for the cause—and judging by the photos in this post, she’s done it looking damned chic and enjoying loads of fun.
This year, in the midst of COVID-19 quarantines, amfAR and Roitfeld are joining forces for a virtual fundraising event we can all participate in. Hosted by Derek Blasberg, the head of fashion and beauty at YouTube, the global runway event features participants filming themselves modeling designs pulled from their personal collection and styled remotely by Roitfeld. Even the hair and makeup will be done virtually.
I’m expecting something like a collection of solo runway shows in the privacy of some very famous people’s living rooms created by the celes themselves. Who doesn’t wanna oogle that!
Which celebrities? The press release lists Kim Kardashian West, Karlie Kloss, Ashley Graham, Hailey Bieber, Adriana Lima, Diane von Fürstenberg, Halima Aden, Virgil Abloh, Karolina Kurkova, Alexander Wang, Joan Smalls, Amber Valletta, Winnie Harlow, Irina Shayk, Karen Elson, Jasmine Sanders, Alessandra Ambrosio, Heron Preston, Miss Fame, Shanina Shaik and Carolyn Murphy—and that’s just a partial list.
“Collaboration is very much a part of my creative process, with every single person I interact with inspiring me in new and exciting ways every day,” Roitfeld tells WWD.com about the virtual show (the article includes a video in which Roitfeld explains the history of amfAR, so check it out).
“During this period of [coronavirus] isolation,” Roitfeld continues in WWD, “I felt the desire to engage with the creativity of others more than ever. I am very proud of how much we all stepped out of our comfort zones to create this event. For the first time, hairstylists brought their visions to life without the use of their hands, models called the shots from behind the camera, and I learned how to style looks using only what I could see through a video call on my phone.”
What’s the relationship between HIV and COVID-19 research, and how does a virtual runway raise funds? In the video above, amfAR CEO Kevin Frost addresses the first topic, and an amfAR press release answers the second: “In addition to all parties contributing 100% of their time, energy, and hearts to this global non-profit event pro-bono, Carine Roitfeld, CR, and other participating creatives have also made personal monetary donations to kick-start the initiative. Viewers are invited to support by simply staying home and enjoying the show, but may also learn more about the initiative and fund at https://www.amfar.org/covid19/.… Everyone at home can learn more about their front row seat by visiting CRRunwayXamfAR.org.”
Best of all, we can enjoy these virtual runway seats in the comfort of our own sweatpants and safe from judgment of the fashion gods.
For related news in POZ, see “AIDS Researchers at amfAR Channel Expertise to Fight COVID-19.” And go to poz.com/tag/coronavirus for our continuing coverage of COVID-19.