By Jana Schiowitz Posted December 5, 2011, 5:02 PM EST
MIAMI/SOUTH FLORIDA The BeLive gala November 17 at the Ritz-Carlton, South Beach, debuted the Wayuu Mochila Project, an initiative created by the Wayuu community in Guajira, Colombia. The 600 guests had the chance to bid on one-of-a-kind mochilas—hand-woven bags usually made by women of indigenous tribes in Colombia—that were reworked by fashion houses like Christian Louboutin, Yves Saint Laurent, and Givenchy. The fifth-annual event, this year hosted by Modern Family actress Sofia Vergara and Vogue contributing editor Lauren Santo Domingo, benefited Colombia and four collaborating nonprofit organizations.
“We are very excited to be celebrating our fifth anniversary,” said Ximena Acosta, director of BeLive. “This event is truly a collective effort. Having four foundations involved, there are a lot of helping hands and people willing to pitch in. As we say in Spanish, 'La union hace la fuerza,' [united we are stronger] and this a perfect example of it.”
During the silent auction, guests could check out the mochilas, which hung on a custom-designed wooden display designed by Pablo Lapetina. Throughout the evening, guests placed bids using handheld devices from BidPal, which were preloaded with each mochila's value and bid increments.
Along with the silent auction, the evening began with passed hors d'oeuvres including braised lamb empanadas with lemon cured dates and signature cocktails created by Food Network's Simply Delicioso chef Ingrid Hoffmann (dubbed “BeLive Cherrylicious” for the evening). Latin Grammy-winner Fonseca performed on stage following dinner and a runway show presented by fashion boutique the Webster, in which models walked the 50-foot runway wearing pieces from the Yves Saint Laurent 2012 Cruise Collection. After dinner, a tower displayed small pies and macaroons, and butlers passed out other desserts.
At the end of the night, guests participated in the Tiffany & Company Mystery Blue Box Wall by purchasing blue Tiffany boxes with surprise gifts inside. The pieces ranged from classic Tiffany watches to Tiffany keys. Camacho Cigars also hosted after-dinner drinks in a cigar lounge filled with furniture rentals from Bubble Miami.