Madonna tapped to host New York flagship store opening
(NEW YORK) From Material Girl to champion of world causes, Madonna has come a long way. And on February 6, the global pop icon will join forces with Gucci to host a fundraising event to celebrate the opening of the Italian fashion brand's largest store in the world, the new flagship on Fifth Avenue and 56th Street.Co-hosted by Gucci creative director Frida Giannini, the evening will benefit Raising Malawi, the organization dedicated to ending extreme poverty founded by Madonna in 2006 when she adopted her son David Banda, and also UNICEF. Joining Madonna and Giannini as co-hosts for the affair will be Salma Hayek and her fiancé, PPR chief executive officer François-Henri Pinault, Adrien Brody, Téa Leoni, Lucy Liu, Demi Moore and Ashton Kutcher, Gwyneth Paltrow, financier Arpad Busson, and economist and Columbia University professor Jeffrey Sachs."I am grateful that Gucci is joining forces with me to bring attention to a country with millions of children in desperate need of our help," said Madonna. "Raising Malawi has already done tremendous work in helping these children. But we have much more to do and this event will surely bring us closer to our goal."The celebratory evening will consist of dinner, followed by a guest speaker, music performance, and an after-party, details of which were not released."We are honored to have Madonna host this very special event with us, celebrating the opening of our New York Fifth Avenue flagship store while generating funds for Raising Malawi and UNICEF," said Mark Lee, CEO of Gucci, the evening's sole underwriter. "At this significant moment in Gucci's history, we are proud to continue our commitment to a cause of great importance to the company."Gucci and Madonna, both of whom share a commitment to the fight against AIDS and to supporting underprivileged children, first joined forces in 1997, when the singer served as honorary co-chair of the record-breaking Gucci fundraising event for AIDS Project Los Angeles. Gucci aligned itself with UNICEF in 2004, initiating several special holiday campaigns and products--including this year's limited-edition Indy bag--with a portion of proceeds benefiting UNICEF programs in Malawi and Mozambique.