Russian supermodel Natalia Vodianova is bringing her Fabulous Fund Fair to New York on October 28th—this time with a Halloween-themed spin. The “freaky-fun” event will feature unique sideshows in a fairground run by exciting celebrities, with the chance to win amazing prizes to benefit the Naked Heart Foundation and amfAR. Here Natalia discusses more about the highly anticipated event in detail, and her involvement in the Naked Heart Foundation.
Why did you establish the Naked Heart Foundation?
Back in 2004 when I learned about the terrible tragedy in my home country, the Beslan School Siege, I was desperate to help. Then I had a simple idea: if those young survivors of the horrible terrorist attack could be distracted by play for at least five minutes each day, it would really help their healing process. Having grown up in poverty, I really understood the importance of play and the devastating consequences of being deprived of such a basic necessity. So I felt that providing children with a safe and bright outdoor play facility would not only redefine their city landscape, but also act as a form of therapy. From there, we started building inclusive play parks and playgrounds for these children.
In 2011, we expanded our mission and launched the “Every Child Deserves a Family” program to create a system of free support services for families raising children with special needs. By doing this, the Naked Heart Foundation aims to solve one huge problem–the abandonment of such children and their placement in closed institutions, which unfortunately remains a common problem. With a younger sister who has cerebral palsy, this cause is very close to my heart, and I would love for all kids to have a loving family like she did.
Tell me a little bit about the Fabulous Fund Fair.
The Fabulous Fund Fair is my favorite type of a fundraiser! It’s not a usual gala dinner, but rather a fun event created in the style of a classic funfair, where celebrity volunteers man all of the arcade games and attractions. Just think of claw crane where you can win a prize from Givenchy or playing Plinko with Chopard! If you are good at bowling, you are sure to win something from NET-A-PORTER. And I personally can’t wait to race on Louis Vuitton bumper cars. In three years since the World’s First Fabulous Fund Fair in London, it has proven to be not just a super successful event for the charity, but also really beneficial for our partners. They can offer the guests great engagement with their brands, and it’s not just about the brand experiences; they get amazing exposure through the event too— everything about it is so Instagrammable! I love the fact that we are not just asking for money, but also giving our donors and sponsors something fun in return. It’s really a win-win situation for everyone.
Why did you decide to partner with amfAR for this event?
I’ve been a supporter of amfAR for a long time, and its management team has also attended Naked Heart events in the past, so the connection between us was established long ago. There are actually many similarities between amfAR and Naked Heart Foundation regarding programme work and fundraising means, even though our charities represent different causes. What’s important is that both organizations place emphasis on supporting evidence-based policies and practices, and carry out systemic work that requires continuous funding.
Why should people choose this event over other Halloween affairs that weekend?
What other Halloween affairs!? The Fabulous Fund Fair will be so fun it’s scary! But seriously, the event really does have it all: favorite funfair games, celebrity hosts, awesome performers, prizes from the most fabulous brands like Louis Vuitton, Dior, Stella McCartney, Givenchy, Veuve Clicquot, Net-A-Porter, Moncler, Buccellati, Nirav Modi, Sergio Rossi, and many more! AND it will be art directed by Jeff Koons. The most important reason for me though: the event supports the Naked Heart Foundation and amfAR.
For tickets, tables, and event information, email NewYork@fundfair.com.