August 31, 2012
Fashion Cares, the AIDS fundraiser started by Toronto's fashion and arts community in 1987, is holding its last event September 9. The fundraiser typically brought together celebrities, a fashion show, and an after-party with several thousand people.
Elton John will headline the last gathering, which will be held at the Sony Center and also feature performances by the band Scissor Sisters, Janelle Monae, and Sky Ferreira. Linda Evangelista and designer twins Dean and Dan Caten of DSquared will be the evening's hosts. Longtime sponsor M.A.C. will have a retrospective from its archives for the fashion show.
"The day of the mega-fundraiser is fading," said Michael King, co-chair of Fashion Cares. "I think this is a natural milestone to end on." "I'm sure the event will live on in a different guise but a giant spectacle with 3,000 people sitting down for dinner seems passé," he said.
"It's a different time and we have to find new ways of raising awareness of HIV and AIDS," including finding new community partners, said Hazelle Palmer, executive director for the AIDS Committee of Toronto (ACT). Current ACT fundraisers tend to focus on smaller events like the annual AIDS Walk and SNAP, a photography auction.
Fashion Cares has been on hiatus since 2008 and Palmer said ACT has not decided what kind of fundraiser will replace it. "Obviously AIDS is still a huge issue and we want to continue to get that message out," said Palmer.
"I can't tell you what Elton will do for the final act but I'll say this final edition will be remembered for a long time," promised King.