2010 February 9

A Call to Action

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Andre Balazs, Donna Karan, and Andre Harrell Andre Balazs, Donna Karan, and Andre Harrell
SHAUN MADER/patrickmcmullan.com
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(NEW YORK) “This is a beginning of a movement. It’s just not a one night stand, let’s put it that way!” Host Donna Karan was enthusiastic last night during the Hope Help & Relief Haiti event at Urban Zen, an effort to raise funds to provide tents and water for the people of Haiti. Karan, along with Mary J. Blige, Andre Harrell and André Balazs hosted the benefit, in support of their “Tents Today, Home Tomorrow” campaign. Far from a one night stand, indeed, the event emphasized lasting commitment. Karan confessed, “I’m feeling a little nervous, because we’ve got a lot of work to do. This is just the launch of the event. The fashion, music, and art industry are all coming together to make a difference in Haiti. For every $1,000 you can buy a tent and for $6,000 you can buy a home. The goal is to build a community that will be sustainable.”

Friends including Carolina Herrera, Calvin Klein, Anna Wintour, Al Sharpton, Wyclef Jean, and Russell Simmons stepped out with open arms. Herrera sang the praises of her friend and laughed, “Donna is amazing to put this all together. I think it took her about ten minutes to pull this wonderful night off. Really, ten minutes, I think!” She added, “I’m looking forward to all the music, too,” referring to Blige’s pending performance. Is Ms. Herrera a hip hop fan? “Oh yes, yes. Of course!” Tory Burch, amped up for the evening’s honorable cause, also quickly revealed her hidden passions. “I’m obsessed with hip hop!” she gushed. “I’m so happy to be here. I couldn’t think of a better reason to go out.”

Clearly the crowd sided with Burch. Klein and Wintour chatted by the incense, and guests perused the art-lined walls, all while soaking in the positive vibe’s of Karan’s peaceful retreat. During dinner, Whoopi Goldberg took to the stage as the auctioneer, Jean delivered a “State of Haiti” address, and Blige filled the venue with soulful song. Did Blige have pre-show jitters? “Not nervous at all! I’m good to go right now,” she admitted to The Daily, punctuating her confidence with a thumbs-up.

Charged with a mission, the guests relocated to the Relief Party at the Standard Hotel.“I’m so excited for everybody to get up on stage; and you know I just can’t wait for all that music!” Al Sharpton noted. Thankfully, Sharpton didn’t have to wait long, as supporters including Rachel Zoe, Michael Stipe and Tinsley Mortimer swayed to the music of Jean and Blige. And was Herrera correct in her time estimation when she declared that Karan was able to pull this off in ten minutes flat? “She is right!” Karan laughed and added, “When you have a community like this, you are just overwhelmed with support.”
EMILY POPP



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