HONG KONG – “Jackie Chan is here. He wants to go on record that if you don’t bid tonight, he’s going to kick your a–,” said Kenneth Cole in his attempt to rouse the bidders at AmfAR’s Hong Kong gala on Saturday night.
The threat worked and the event, now in its third year, raised more than $3.5 million. The Studio 54-themed fundraiser at Shaw Studios featured giant disco-balls and photos of Jerry Hall and Diana Ross on the walls.
“The Fate of the Furious” star Charlize Theron co-chaired the event which raises funds aimed at finding an AIDS cure by 2020. Guests included Naomi Campbell, Charli XCX, Mark Ronson, Dee Poon, the South Korean actor Jae Hyun Ahn, Yuz Museum’s Budi Tek, Harry Winston chief executive officer Nayla Hayek, Bryanboy, and the martial arts legend Chan.
Cole has been working with AmfAR for 30 years – 13 of those as chairman of the board – and has just been named the first recipient of the CFDA’s Swarovski Award for Positive Change.
The proactive designer, who recently became a U.N. international goodwill ambassador, said: “We’re not totally sure of what this new (U.S. presidential) administration’s position is on global health matters, but at the end of the day I believe they will be there and will support this for the humanitarian reasons and, we all know, and for all the business reasons. Every dollar we don’t spend today is going to cost $10 tomorrow.”
According to AmfAR, more than 37 million people are living with AIDS.
During dinner, the irreverent David Tang made AmfAR chair Pansy Ho blush by sharing his recollections of her as a young girl. Tang recalled how her father, the Macau casino tycoon Stanley Ho, asked him to take Pansy to dinner because the elder Ho was dining inside a casino, and a 15-year-old Pansy was not allowed entry.
Given a stretch Rolls Royce and a chauffeur for the evening, Tang – a recent graduate and broke…