August 30 2014

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Robert Duffy The Hero


Running the business side of Marc Jacobs is a full-time job, but Robert Duffy, the man who does it, has managed to squeeze in at least one side project lately: supporting Aid for AIDS International, which honored him at its My Hero Gala last night.

“He certainly gets things done, that goes without saying. He’s very paternal, he’s very nurturing,” explained Jacobs, who was there to see Duffy accept his jack-shaped award. “He cares about being charitable, and not being praised for it, but just doing it, which I think is the way to go.”

Duffy had to endure a little praise, of course, much of it coming from Winona Ryder, who’d flown in from L.A. on the redeye to officially present the award. On the carpet, Ryder declared herself a “deer in headlights” and revealed she’d just jotted down notes for her speech on the car ride over. “I think it’s almost a better thing to be a little bit unprepared, because it’s just more natural and heartfelt that way. I have never, ever done anything in front of a mirror,” she said.

Judging from her performance, the technique seemed to pay off. Duffy shared the stage with his husband, Alex Cespedes, who introduced him to the foundation—a joining of forces that has yielded, among other things, two batches of Marc Jacobs T-shirts for Aid for AIDS, one that sold out last summer and another that’s being sold now.

Photo: Clint Spaulding /

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