While Americans were talking turkey over the weekend, the Brits had other animals in mind—like cheetahs, for example. They were among the guests (albeit caged) at a dinner and auction at one of the city’s more unusual party venues: the London Zoo. Proceeds from the evening, cohosted by sprinter Usain Bolt and PPR’s Jochen Zeitz, went to the Zoological Society of London and Zeitz’s own foundation.
In his off hours, Zeitz, the Swahili-speaking, monastery-dwelling CEO of PPR’s Sport & Lifestyle division, devotes his time—and funds—to conservation and community-building efforts, racking up accolades like the FT‘s Strategist of the Year and Germany’s Federal Cross of Merit along the way. If Bolt—the Zeitz Foundation’s ambassador for culture—is the world’s fastest man, Zeitz may be the greenest.
Friends from the office, so to speak—the likes of Stella McCartney, with husband Alasdhair Willis (above, with Zeitz and Bolt), Suzy Menkes, and Ozwald Boateng—came by to show their support, and several PPR brands had contributed auction items. Among them were a dress from Sarah Burton’s first McQueen collection, a pair of Bolt’s running shoes (he is sponsored by Puma), and a gown from a fellow environmentalist, Vivienne Westwood. A surprise lot from Sir Richard Branson was announced to the cheers of the crowd: a flight to Branson’s Necker Island to run 100 meters against Sir Richard himself. It went for £30,000 to an anonymous bidder. Racing Bolt, on the other hand, still requires passing Olympic trials.