After the horrific explosion that rocked Beirut’s port on August 4th, there has been an outpouring of support from across the world. From simple donations to NGOs and charities working on ground, to musicians pledging profits from sales, the support has come from all quarters. One of the most unique, however, is set to come from Sotheby’s.
The world famous auction house is embarking on a mission with non-profits, Creatives for Lebanon and Art for Beirut, to raise funds for those impacted by a tragedy that has aggravated an already in-crisis Lebanon, as the country’s economy sits in slump. Bringing together the worlds of fashion and art from leading contemporary artists, fashion houses and jewellery designers, ‘To Beirut with Love’ is opening bidding from December 7th to 15th and will feature a whole range of memorabilia and items from internationally recognised celebrities.
Among the regional contributions is a silk haute couture gown belonging to Egyptian actress, Sherihan, which she wore in her iconic Thousand and One Nights fawazeer show in 1987. The signed dress will be up for bidding at a price of £18,000-£25,000. Meanwhile, a beaded chartreuse gown estimated to be worth £20,000- £30,000.by famed Lebanese designer, Elie Saab, is sure to be another headturner.
There are also pieces from leading names in the international fashion industry, including giants like Giambattista Valli, Ralph & Russo, Azzedine Alaïa as Prada, as well as Christian Louboutin who will offer one bidder the chance to create a custom-made pair of their signature heels. Perhaps one of the highlight items among the auction collection is a dress worn by actress Emma Stone on the Oscars red carpet in 2015 (pictured below), while titans of jewellery have also stepped up, including Dior, Bulgari and Damien Hirst have contributed pieces.
The auction will also feature a hearty slice of British music history. Spice Girl Geri Halliwell’s iconic outfit from the ‘Wannabe’ music video for the band’s debut single will be featured at a starting bid of £4,000-£6,000. Alongside this, legendary rocker, Mick Jagger, will auction a jacket from his 2017 European tour, Madonna has contributed a matador-inspired costume from Lebanese designer Nicolas Jebran and The Who’s Pete Townshend is doing likewise with a signed guitar.
These are just a few of the starring pieces featured in the charity auction, which have converged together to give back just a small piece of what Lebanese creatives have given to the global community through art, the common ground and universal language which unifies the community.
“Lebanon is home to an artistic community whose contributions to the cultural landscape cannot be overstated,” Edward Gibbs, Sotheby’s Chairman for the Middle East, said of the auction. “The explosion in the Port of Beirut this summer sent shockwaves through the city and the world, impacting every sector of society in Lebanon with countless tales of loss, damage and displacement. Sotheby’s has come together with our partners to host the auction ‘To Beirut with Love’ to provide much-needed relief and funds to aid the healing process.”
The auction will be held in collaboration with IMPACT Lebanon and LIFE (Lebanese International Finance Executives), and the proceeds will be shared amongst five charities including Nusaned, Beit El Baraka, and Baytna Baytak, Fanar, and House of Christmas.