“Listen, I was with the pope the other day, and I said to Francis, ‘I’m going to get this award,’ and he said ‘Bless you, Whoop.'” So remarked the ever-witty Whoopi Goldberg on stage in front of a starry crowd to accept her American Icon award at Fashion Group International’s 39th annual Night of Stars event.
It was one of the many moments of levity at Tuesday night’s gala and award ceremony, where a group of leaders in the fashion and beauty space convened for the organization’s most important fundraiser of the year, which raises funds for scholarships, business grants, and educational programming.
Goldberg’s award was one of several bestowed that evening. The Costume Institute at The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Andrew Bolton received the Superstar award from Instagram’s Eva Chen. Fashion critic Cathy Horyn presented Proenza Schouler’s Jack McCollough and Lazaro Hernandez with the Fashion Star award, while Marc Anthony was honored with the Humanitarian award. The other honorees were Dennis Basso, Antoine Phillips, and Shiseido’s Gail Boyé.
It was the first time the event was held at the iconic Plaza Hotel, which kicked off with a cocktail hour and red carpet before guests trekked up to the second-floor ballroom for the gala dinner. In between plates of burrata salad, braised beef, and mashed potatoes, the honorees took turns giving their acceptance speeches.
“I’d like to thank Thom [Browne], who inspires me and surprises me every day,” said Bolton, the final honoree of the night. “Living with a designer, I know firsthand what it takes to succeed in this business, all the hard work and all the sacrifices. So I mean it wholeheartedly when I saw that you guys, the designers, really are the true superstars.”
Other notables in the crowd included Candace Bushnell, Amy Fine Collins, Fern Mallis, Ken Downing, Phillipe and David Blond, and Elie Tahari. Before exiting the venue, guests got to take home a leather quilted London Fog backpack with goodies inside, like Kiehl’s skincare products, a Margiela fragrance, Nars cosmetics, and a Valentino zip pouch.
“FGI Night of Stars is a celebration of extraordinary individuals in entertainment, fashion, beauty, and culture,” said FGI president and CEO Maryanne Grisz. “We are grateful to all who, by attending our most important fundraiser of the year, support Fashion Group International’s mission to connect, provide resources, mentor emerging talent, and celebrate the fashion industry at every level.”