When it comes to celebrating culture, there’s nowhere more fitting to do so than within the walls of a storied NYC art institution. And so once more, the world’s most influential figures in fashion, art, design, music, and media descended on the Museum of Modern Art last night to honor the achievements of those shaping culture, at the 12th annual WSJ. Magazine Innovator Awards. From tear-jerking speeches to Kate Moss sashaying to the stage in a sheer dress leaving everyone a little bit, well, speechless—here’s what went down.
The evening recognized eight talents in their respective fields. Selected by WSJ. Magazine editor in chief Kristina O’Neill and her team of editors, the individuals who will each featured on their own November issue cover were Anitta (Music), Anthony Vaccarello (Fashion), Jeanne Gang (Architecture), Jenny Holzer (Art), Jony Ive (Design), Margot Robbie (Entertainment), Maya Rudolph (Comedy) and World Central Kitchen (Humanitarian). The evening also marked O’Neill’s milestone of ten years as the publication’s top editor.
On the night, artist Nick Cave presented to Jeanne Gang; a pioneering architect of her generation who, at one point, broke both ground and records when she was behind the tallest building in the world. J Balvin introduced Anitta with admiration for her tenacity and ambition, and the multi-lingual star emotionally using her speech to ask those in her native Brazil to unify at a time of political strife. The incredibly eloquent Laurene Powell Jobs presented to her late husband’s visionary partner Jony Ives, who in turn read a profound email from the Apple boss that put into context how we should never be too consumed with our own self-importance.
Questlove presented to Maya Rudolph, who giggled about her life growing up with famous parents and how, as the child of an interracial couple, she didn’t know how to stay in her own lane so thus decided to create her own. Jenny Holzer was introduced by Nadya Tolokonnikova and spoke to the importance of everyone in the room acting urgently on the issues that the world is facing. Speaking of issues, after being welcomed on stage by Stephen Colbert, World Central Kitchen’s chef José Andrés and Yuliya Stefanyuk, head of the World Central Kitchen Program in Ukraine, had everyone on their feet for a standing ovation thanks to their tireless efforts cooking hundreds of millions of meals for those in need.
From her hilarious intro, it’s clear to see why Greta Gerwig is such a big fan of actress and producer Margot Robbie, and Robbie’s own thank you, filled with gratitude and humility, only served to bring the point home. And then there was Kate Moss, who presented the Fashion accolade to Saint Laurent’s unassuming but phenomenally talented creative director Anthony Vaccarello. A woman famously of few words in public, she let her slinky Spring Summer ’23 dress do most of the talking, while a chic girl gang of his muses—Amber Valletta, Anja Rubik, Hailey Bieber, Shalom Harlow, Charlotte Gainsbourg, Gray Sorrenti, and Mica Arganaraz—also cheered while wearing his designs at their table in front.
Among those in attendance were Eve Jobs, Antwaun Sargent, Aurora James and Benjamin Bronfman, Brandon Maxwell, Cass Bird, Gucci Westman and David Neville, Derek Blasberg, Emily Bode, Aaron Aujla, Dominic Fike, Fabiola Beracasa Beckman, Gabriela Hearst, Jessica Seinfeld, Jason Wu, Indira Scott, Jack McCollough & Lazaro Hernandez, Jeremy O. Harris, Jose Andres, Karlie Kloss, Lauren Santo Domingo, Meadow Walker, Margherita Missoni, Paloma Elsesser, Wes Gordon and Paul Arnhold, Philip Lim, Taylor Hill, Tory Burch, and Ulla Johnson.
Presenting sponsors of this year’s program were Cadillac, Harry Winston, Rémy Martin, Roche Bobois, Samsung along with participating sponsor Jo Malone London. For more intel on the night, see here.