Last night, we gathered at the United Nations to honor extraordinary women at the 5th annual DVF Awards. The crowd was a mix of Diane’s friends and associates, and the delegates of Tina Brown’s Women in the World Summit—fresh from a talk about the groundbreaking technologies women are developing around the world. Andy Cohen, Wendi Deng and Fran Lebowitz mingled to the tunes of the Misshapes. Jessica Joffe and Natalie Joos stood out from the crowd, both in DVF.
Then silence fell and the program began with a rousing performance by Grammy Award-winning artist Estelle, who quickly got the room singing along and shimmying. The captivated crowd then received a welcome from Tina and Diane, before Sarah Jessica Parker gave a solemn but hopeful introduction of honorees Liron Peleg-Hadomi and Noha Khatieb, who paid tribute to the late Inez McCormack as they received their award.
Marie Claire Editor-in-Chief Anne Fulenwider presented to the fiery, trailblazing politician Kah Walla of Cameroon, who spoke about the history of strong female leaders in Africa’s past, and the importance of their return, and supermodel Chanel Iman presented to 24-year-old Veronika Scott, the People’s Voice Award winner, on behalf of the thousands of people who voted for her to receive the honor.
Diane then presented the Inspiration Award to Alicia Keys who had the room murmuring in assent as she spoke about the nature of inspiration: a spark from the outside that ignites what’s within.
“I will never forget when I came to New York in the 1970s and I met Gloria Steinem,” Diane said in her last introduction. “Feminist and feminine. Doer and dreamer. Graceful and Strong. Compassionate and Beautiful. I was so in awe of Gloria that I decided to give up my title of Princess for the title of Ms.” And the crowd rose, giving Ms. Steinem a standing ovation as she mounted the stage to accept the Lifetime Leadership Award.
“Still” is a word people use with her now: “You’re still traveling? You’re still working?” they ask the 80-year-old godmother of feminism. She insisted that it has been no sacrifice; it is not a sacrifice to do the work you love.
After the ceremony, the press flooded the honorees (and Sarah Jessica, in that gold wrap!) and the room was abuzz, inspired by the call to action at the end of Ms. Steinem’s speech. And as the night came to a close, two young women walked through the halls of the United Nations and into the rainy night, talking about what more they could do.