Image Courtesy: BY DOUGLAS GREENWOOD
On August 31, 2023, Venice hosted the prestigious 2023 DVF Awards, an event that stands out amidst the many self-congratulatory award ceremonies. For 14 years, these awards, organized by Diane Von Furstenberg and The Diller – von Furstenberg Family Foundation, have honored women making significant contributions to society. The event took place at the enchanting Fondazione Cini on the Isola San Giorgio Maggiore, with a diverse group of trailblazers receiving recognition, including UN leaders, AI experts combatting discrimination, and environmental activists. Celebrities like Rita Ora and Dame Emma Thompson graced the occasion.
Amal Clooney, accompanied by her husband, took the spotlight as an awardee. The couple mingled with the Von Furstenberg family before the ceremony commenced. Rita Ora, elegantly attired in a sheer black gown, later presented an award to the storyteller and gender advocate Lilly Singh.
Emma Thompson, speaking fluently in Italian, expressed her affection for Venice and even donned a dress, an uncommon sight for the pant-suit enthusiast, thanks to Von Furstenberg’s persuasion.
The event featured an emotional acapella performance by Jewel and opened with a heartfelt speech by Nancy Pelosi, describing Venice as “the woman at the end of the rainbow.” The evening’s most powerful moments, however, belonged to non-celebrity honorees, such as Dr. Joy Buolamwini, an expert addressing AI’s impact on women’s safety, and Ecuadorian activist Helena Gualinga, who highlighted her country’s fight against oil drilling. United Nations Deputy Secretary-General Amina J Mohammed emphasized collective action and support for younger generations.
Each honoree received financial backing for their chosen cause. In a rare public moment, the typically private Amal Clooney thanked her husband and colleagues, acknowledging their collective efforts in “waging justice for women” and expressing her disbelief that he exists.
Re-reported from the article originally published by Douglas Greenwood.