What brings Egyptian star Sherihan together with American actress Emma Stone, iconic model Naomi Campbell and artist Damien Hirst? They might not have any actual link, but they all came together for an auction organized by Sotheby’s in collaboration with five Lebanese charities that were established after the explosion that rocked Beirut’s port in August.
The auction, sending a message of love to Beirut, relied on generous donations made by international fashion houses, Arab and foreign celebrities, artists and renowned jewelry designers. The charities, including Nusaned (we support), Beit Al Baraka (house of blessing) and Baynta Baytak (our home is your home), will share the proceeds to those most in need.
They will also focus on helping the families that were left without homes because of the explosion and give aid to small businesses. The venture charity organization Al Fanar (beacon) will provide support to entrepreneurs, and the House of Christmas association will contribute to the efforts to restoring heritage buildings.
Edouard Gheeb, Chairman of the Middle East Department at Sotheby’s, said: “Lebanon has an art community that has made immense cultural contributions. The explosion at the Beirut port shook the city and the world, leaving an impact on all segments of Lebanese society and endless tales of loss and displacement. Sotheby’s has joined forces with our partners to provide assistance and help with rehabilitation.”
From designer Giambattista Valli to Ralph & Russo, Azzedine Alaia to Prada, the auction offers collectors the opportunity to purchase iconic pieces from international fashion houses’ archives. From the Middle East, dresses donated by Arab stars stand out. They include a luscious silk dress valued at around 22,000 pounds and partially designed and signed by Egyptian star Sherihan, who also wore it for her 1985 “One Thousand and One Nights” Ramadan show. Lebanese singer Majida al Roumi donated a sky blue dress, with an estimated to fetch 8,000 to 10,000 pounds.
From the glamorous world of Hollywood, Emma Stone offered an Elie Saab designed green embroidered dress that she wore during the 2015 Oscars, which is expected to bring in 20,000 to 30,000 pounds. From the music world, British singer Jerry Halliwell is donating the outfit she wore in the Spice Girl’s debut “Wannabe” music video.
Bringing the shine to the auction, major jewelry designers have also made generous contributions. Dior donated a gold bracelet with colored precious stones by house jeweler Victoire de Castell. It is expected to fetch between 30,000 to 50,000 pounds. Bulgari offered a rose gold necklace with an ancient gold coin priced between 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
Damian Hirst donated an item that merges modern art with contemporary design, an exquisite bracelet with dangling golden pills from his “Medicine Cabinet” series. The limited-edition 2013 bracelet, with only 50 pieces made, is expected to fetch between 8,000 and 12,000 pounds.
Naomi Campbell also contributed, donating a personal photo taken by Rocco Lapasta, priced at 3,000 to 5,000 pounds.
From Lebanon, the auction includes works by the duo Joana Hadjithomas and Khalil Joreige, who donated some of the renowned photographs from their “Wonder Beirut” postcard series that contrast scenes of Beirut during its heyday with images from the civil war. Lebanese photographer Fouad Khoury and artist Huguette Caland have also made contributions.
The auction will be held between December 7 and 15.