Rarely do fashion, aeronautics, and the Moon Walk converge—unless you happen to be Michael Jackson—but such was the case Monday night when a diverse crowd of guests converged at the American Museum of Natural History. The occasion? A soiree hosted by Louis Vuitton to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the lunar landing (actual date: July 20th) and the recent debut of its new Core Values campaign featuring NASA superstars Buzz Aldrin, Jim Lovell (both pictured), and Sally Ride. "The spirit of travel has always been with us as Louis Vuitton started as a travel company," said Louis Vuitton North America CEO Daniel Lalonde. "The ultimate journey is to conquer outer space."
The crowd of 700 guests included an eclectic mix that saw everyone from Karenna Gore Schiff and a very pregnant Adriana Lima rubbing shoulders with Vuitton-clad beauties Estelle, Cassie, and Miranda Kerr and even aspiring space cadet Lance Bass (who actually trained for a 2002 space mission). In lieu of a life-size spaceship, a fashionable vision of the final frontier was had by all: historic photographs, vintage space-themed toys, a star field of alternating LV monograms and what looked like a futuristic Fabergé egg—dubbed "Malle Mars" by Vuitton—on display, its doors open revealing compartments for a tea set, tool box and folding beach chair (all key items for space travel, natch).
While most were more than happy to admit they weren't even born when the history-making flight took place, others took their age in stride. "I was 13 when it happened; how awesome is that?" laughed a statuesque Patti Hansen, with daughter Alexandra Richards in tow. "I'm walking on the moon everyday. My life right now is pretty close to that feeling of euphoria."
Despite the of-the-moment celebrity buzz on hand, the real stars of the evening were Lovell and Aldrin, who star with Ride in the Annie Leibovitz-photographed Vuitton campaign and earlier in the day rang the closing bell at the New York Stock Exchange. "Apollo 13 was my last flight," noted Lovell during his speech, as waiters passed out mini moon rock cakes. "Most of you are probably wondering where Tom Hanks is." Lalonde was in an equally jovial mood as he introduced his legendary co-hosts. "Buzz joined NASA in 1963," he stated, before quipping, "that's when I was born by the way."
As DJ Cassidy entertained guests throughout the evening, Estelle beamed upon hearing her song play in the museum's Rose Center for Earth and Space. Jumping up on her hot pink Alexander McQueen heels, she was, pun intended, over the moon. "I thought moonwalking on Mars would be cool," she giggled. "This is so much better than that!"
Photos by Patrick McMullan