LIZ TAYLOR INSPIRES: Designers Kenneth Cole, Thom Browne, Richard Chai and Robert Geller packed into a penthouse in New York’s Mondrian hotel on Thursday evening for a kick-off party to raise awareness for the upcoming amfAR Inspiration gala on June 14 at The Museum of Modern Art. James Franco will be honored at the event, and a slew of men’s labels, including Ralph Lauren, Tom Ford, Marc Jacobs, Hugo Boss and Calvin Klein, will contribute runway looks for a fashion show. But it was the death of Elizabeth Taylor, who was the founding international chairman of amfAR, that was on many attendees’ minds. “AmfAR’s mission and vision was sculpted and articulated in many ways by her as an individual,” said Cole, chairman of amfAR. “She had a relentless sense of social justice. She would not back down, and she felt there was no rationale that could justify not allocating all the necessary resources to treat people who were living with [AIDS].” Cole noted the organization dropped the word “American” from its acronym — and is officially called the Foundation for AIDS Research— due to Taylor. “She felt that if AIDS existed anywhere, it existed everywhere. It wasn’t an American disease, it was a global crisis.” Founded last year by Josh Wood, to date the three Inspiration galas have raised $1 million for the group. Another event will be held in São Paulo, Brazil, on April 28.
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