When fashion folks hear "amfAR," they might think of models wearing couture at Cannes, and for good reason: The foundation frequently relies on beautiful people wearing fancy frocks to raise money for the AIDS/HIV research it conducts. But with gatherings on the red carpet and in far-flung locales like the French Riviera off the table and Covid-19 dominating the conversation, amfAR is pivoting: to coronavirus research, and to a different form of fashion advocacy.
On May 1, a "virtual runway" created by Carine Roitfeld and hosted by Derek Blasberg will stream on crrunwayxamfar.org to "raise awareness for research efforts led by the amfAR Fund to Fight Covid-19," according to a press release. The 30-minute digital event, which is also serving as the second-ever CR Runway, will bring together some of fashion's biggest names to share "walks and words" in what the organizers hope will result in "a moment of creative inspiration and uplifting entertainment."
So far, the confirmed participants list is long: Virgil Abloh, Halima Aden, Alessandra Ambrosio, Hailey Bieber, Grace Elizabeth, Paloma Elsesser, Karen Elson, Miss Fame, Silvia Fendi, Ashley Graham, Maria Grazia Chiuri, Winnie Harlow, Candice Huffine, Kim Kardashian West, Karlie Kloss, Adriana Lima, Stella Maxwell, Simon Porte Jacquemus, Heron Preston, Richard Quinn, Julia Restoin-Roitfeld, Jasmine Sanders, Shanina Shaik, Irina Shayk, Hyunji Shin, Joan Smalls, Amber Valletta, Diane von Fürstenberg, Alexander Wang, Xiao Wen Ju and Anok Yai are just some of those who will be making appearances in the video.
The runway part of the show will feature models wearing "creations from their personal wardrobe" styled remotely by Roitfeld and her team. The program is also slated to include words from some contributors and musical performances from others.
"In times of great uncertainty, our support for one another is more important than ever," Roitfeld said in a statement. "Embracing fashion as the creative expression through which to support the health and safety of our global communities, we hope this show can offer a small moment of hope, inspiration, and uplifting connection for those who are doing their part to self-isolate. A modest contribution as our world unites to collectively weather the storm of this pandemic together."
Though the show will be free to view, Roitfeld and some of the other participating creatives are making personal donations to amfAR's Covid-19 fund in hopes of kick-starting others' giving.
Learn more about amfAR's Covid-19 fund here.