Model Natalia Vodianova Hosts Open-Air Charity Event

The gala evening in Cannes raised 400,000 euros for special needs children in Russia.

The French fashion scene is tiptoeing off the Internet and into the physical world: Last week saw the first physical runway show — the Jacquemus spring 2021 collection, paraded in a wheat field — and an open-air charity gala in Cannes for Natalia Vodianova’s Naked Heart Foundation.

Vodianova’s fiancé Antoine Arnault, cohost Anna Andres, Joan Smalls, Pierre Casiraghi, Xenia Adonts, Beatrice Borromeo Casiraghi, Camilla Fayed and Alessandra Rich were among guests at island restaurant La Guérite on Friday night for what was billed as the first post-quarantine charity event. It raised 400,000 euros for Naked Heart France, which supports children with autism, Down’s syndrome, cerebral palsy and other special needs in Vodianova’s native Russia.

An auction was the centerpiece of the event, with the most expensive lot offering a chance to learn about sustainable fashion from Stella McCartney.

Also up for grabs was a dinner by celebrity chef Jean Imbert on a private yacht; limited-edition Chaumet pendants in rose gold, diamonds and carnelian; an Alessandra Rich gown, and a weekend in the panoramic suite of the Hôtel Martinez, a hot spot during the film festival.

The event also featured a cocktail reception, a lavish dinner and a performance by French singer-songwriter Yseult, who recently sang on a barge for fashion house Balmain.

A model with 2.6 million followers on Instagram and steely determination, Vodianova set up the Naked Heart Foundation in 2004 to help eradicate child abandonment in Russia and build accessible play facilities for children of all abilities.

Naked Heart France dispatches international experts in child development and mental health to Russia, among other initiatives.

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