7 posts tagged "ACRIA"
Like the George Gershwin song goes, “Summertime, and the livin’ is easy.” Especially if your workweek is cut short thanks to “Summer Fridays.” The extra hours go a long way in making every weekend seem like a holiday. If you’re short on inspiration for your own Summer Fridays, just look to our new season-long series in which we ask industry people with cool jobs to share how they’ll be spending their free afternoons.
ACRIA, the AIDS Community Research Initiative of America, is one of the New York social scene’s favorite causes—its calendar of fundraisers and events throughout the year consistently turns out the creative set’s coolest do-gooders. (Case in point: ACRIA’s Cocktails at Sunset in Water Mill, New York, last month drew in the likes of Bob Colacello, Francisco Costa, and Suno’s Erin Beatty.) But it’s not just about a good party. ACRIA is committed to funding critical therapies and increasing HIV/AIDS literacy in disadvantaged communities around the world. At the helm of it all is executive director Benjamin Bashein, and when he isn’t busy throwing a great fete or charting the course for the organization’s critical work, here’s how he spends his Summer Fridays:
“There’s nothing better than waking up at the beach, so the best Summer Fridays really start on Thursday night. That’s when I drive out to Shelter Island with my husband and our dog, Harry.
“We’re typically up early on Friday morning to catch up on the NYT and drink coffee on the porch of our beautiful (albeit rented—and shared, no less) farmhouse. We’ll walk over to the Sylvester Manor farm stand and stock up on fresh fruits and veggies for the weekend, and then head into town for a stretch at Shelter Island Pilates. There’s nothing better than Pilates for a bad back. On our way home, we’ll stop at Reddings for lunch and take it to go with us as we head to Shell Beach for the afternoon. It’s a quiet, sandy peninsula in Peconic Bay, perfect for a long afternoon in the sun. I get a lot of reading done there. At dusk, we’ll head home and grab Harry for a walk down to Hay Beach on Gardiners Bay. Once we make it home, the grill goes on or we head in to town for a bite at the bar of our favorite Shelter Island spot, Sweet Tomato’s. And then we’re in bed by 10…always.”
On June 11, Jason Wu will merge good art with a good cause when he hosts the Second Annual Young Friends of ACRIA Summer Soirée. But his involvement with the AIDS research and education foundation goes far beyond turning up at the benefit and smiling for Billy Farrell. “I want to help pave the way for my generation to get involved,” said Wu, who sits on ACRIA’s board. “I love what ACRIA does, and it’s great for me to be able to work with people I admire, like Francisco Costa and Donna Karan.”
In order to help raise funds for the organization, the designer has put together an extensive auction of photographs (fashion and otherwise), the proceeds from which will naturally go to ACRIA. “Last year I collaborated with artist Nate Lowman on T-shirts, and I wanted to continue the art-and-fashion element,” said Wu. “So I thought it would be nice to curate a collection of photographs by young and established photographers that I admire.”
Open for bidding now on paddle8.com, the auction includes Inez & Vinoodh’s Guinevere Descending a Staircase; Herb Ritts’ 1991 portrait of a pensive Karl Lagerfeld; and Bruce Weber’s erotic snap Gregory and Sacha, Nantucket, Mass, 2012, as well as works by up-and-comers, like Kevin Tachman’s moody shot from Rick Owens’ Fall ’13 show, Kelly Klein’s punk-tinged image, and Gregory Harris’ uplifting 2008 photograph New Hope.
“I’d like the younger generation of creative people to be able to afford and have these things,” offered Wu. To wit, starting bids range from $400 (for Simon Burstall’s grayscale image) to $6,000 (for a Weber or Steven Meisel). Sure, it’s no small investment, but these are pretty appealing prices when it comes to big-name photographers. “This is a great way for people who are really interested in collecting to get an incredible work that most people in their 20s and 30s wouldn’t be able to buy.” A collector as well as a philanthropist (his latest acquisition was an Inez & Vinoodh-lensed print of his Spring ’14 campaign with Karen Elson), Wu places himself in this category. “I’ll definitely be bidding on everything!” he laughed. Why not join him?
On my wish list today is a print by British artist Adam McEwen. This work is part of charity ACRIA’s Unframed auction, which aims to raise funds for HIV research. Starting today, you can log on to Paddle8.com and bid on a selection of artworks curated by Ales Ortuzar. The auction, which includes items from artists like Ryan McGinley, KAWS, and Mark Flood will close at ACRIA’s benefit on April 9. Will you help support the cause?
Adam McEwen’s Untitled, 2014, inkjet printed sponge mounted on an aluminum panel, 38 1/4 x 28 3/8 inches (97 x 72 cm). Bid now at Paddle8.com.
Jeffrey Kalinsky cares. One need only look to his annual charity events in New York and Atlanta—which, aptly dubbed Jeffrey Fashion Cares, raise money for HIV/AIDS and breast cancer research and LGBTQ organizations—to see that. But does fashion care? Considering the stereotype that the industry’s concerns never reach beyond silhouettes, vanity, and wow! factor (thank you, Prêt-à-Porter and Zoolander), we felt this was a pertinent question. “I think it does care,” answered Kalinsky. “I mean, Michael Kors recently made a $5 million donation to God’s Love We Deliver. Diane von Furstenberg does so much good work, as does Robert Duffy from Marc Jacobs,” he reasoned. “The list goes on. You’re never going to find a profession in which everybody cares. But yes, there are a lot of people in fashion who care.” Glad we could put that debate to rest.
Kalinsky, known for his Jeffrey boutiques in downtown Manhattan and Atlanta, launched his philanthropic gala twenty-two years ago in Georgia. In 2003, after opening his New York store on 14th Street, the retailer brought his charitable evening to the Big Apple. This year’s event, scheduled for Tuesday, April 8 at the 69th Regiment Armory (get your tickets here!), will donate 80 to 90 percent of the funds raised to the Hetrick-Martin Institute, Lambda Legal, ACRIA, and the Point Foundation.
While the 2014 Jeffrey Fashion Cares board includes such bold-faced names as Prabal Gurung and Mickey Boardman, the real star of the benefit is honoree Rob Smith, a tireless gay rights activist and fashion executive. “I feel it’s important for me to honor the real volunteers out there,” said Kalinsky of his choice to highlight Smith, who recently traveled to Russia with Athlete Alley (where he currently serves on the board) to help further LGBT efforts on the ground at the Olympic Games in Sochi. “There are a lot of ‘famous people’ out there who do a lot of good, but Rob is a guy who has worked so hard for charity just because.”
We should also mention that the evening will feature an enticing auction. A trip to Paris, Maggie Smith’s Downton Abbey choker, a Suno tunic, and an Alexander Wang handbag are just a few of the carefully considered items up for grabs. You can get a head start and bid now at GavelAndGrand.com.
The impressive selection of auction pieces shouldn’t be surprising, considering the top-notch mix of wares available in Kalinsky’s stores. His latest find? LVMH Prize finalist Simon Porte Jacquemus, whose brand Kalinsky picked up for Fall. “I loved it because it didn’t seem like it was looking back—it was looking forward,” offered Kalinsky, adding that he both stocks and admires newcomers like Simone Rocha, J.W. Anderson, and Yang Li. So what does it take for a newbie to catch the retailer’s eye? “I have to see the right blend of art and commerce,” he explained. “And I just know it when I see it. I can hear the cash registers ringing.”
Last year, ACRIA—the pioneering HIV/AIDS research foundation with a strong foothold in the design world—founded its Young Friends section, a branch conceived to engage and attract new supporters from the fields of art, fashion, film, et al. On June 13, member Jason Wu is set to sponsor and host the initiative’s first official event here in New York. And as a prelude to the soiree, he tapped artist and pal Nate Lowman for a limited-edition collaboration. The result? A unisex T-shirt, screened with one of Lowman’s infamous, shot-through-the-middle air fresheners.
“It was originally an aluminum silkscreened piece that was actually quite large,” Wu told Style.com. “Nate’s signature is reappropriating everyday things.” The print is instantly recognizable—a pared-down little pine tree shadowed and patterned with a blown-up Xerox effect. No stranger to link-ups with visual artists, Wu offered, “I’ve always loved working with such creative individuals—I remember working with KAWS.” (Together they created prints for Spring/Summer 2012.) As for Lowman’s signature bullet hole, Wu is a fan. “It made for an iconic motif,” he said.
The Jason Wu x Nate Lowman T-shirt is available for $175 from today at www.jasonwustudio.com (proceeds will go to the foundation). For tickets to the Young Friends of ACRIA’s Summer Soiree, contact email@example.com.