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Incredible Oceans Gala, Dumbo House, Brooklyn

On the eve of World Oceans Day, PORTER and Parley celebrate their collaboration on PORTER’s Summer Escape 2018 issue and launch a global campaign to give up single-use plastic. By SARAH BAILEY


“Great party,” exclaimed legendary marine biologist Sylvia Earle, emerging onto the rooftop of Dumbo House. At Soho House’s latest outpost in Brooklyn, the first Incredible Oceans Gala celebrating the collaboration between PORTER and environmental game changers Parley for the Oceans was in full swing, with New York’s fashion elite mingling with conservationist superstars and rapper of the moment Smokepurpp.

Against the imposing backdrop of Brooklyn Bridge, photographers Inez and Vinoodh held court by the pool, while model and activist Cameron Russell and Julia Restoin Roitfeld discussed what single-use plastic they would pledge to give up. Visual nods to the life aquatic were everywhere, from quirky life buoys to the dress code (“a splash of blue”), with PORTER cover star Anja Rubik striding out in a periwinkle suit by The Row and model Fernanda Ly looking alluring in an ankle-length blue velvet dress, which looked particularly pretty against her powder-pink hair. “It’s vintage,” Ly announced proudly – perfectly fitting for such a night.

“We’ve all been educated and inspired by making the Oceans issue with Parley and we are waking up to the issues of marine plastic pollution,” said PORTER Editor-in-Chief Lucy Yeomans, who shared hosting duties for the evening with supermodel Rubik, Parley founder Cyrill Gutsch and star photographer Mario Sorrenti, the man responsible for shooting PORTER’s entire Oceans project on Parley’s Maldives deserted island HQ. Guest of honor Sylvia Earle (in Yeomans’ words, “a long-term heroine for me and many here”) stressed the urgency of the catastrophe in our seas. “We have to hurry; we are losing elements of our environmental support system… We should make it fashionable to take care of the oceans and fashionable to give fish a break,” she said. The transformational power of fashion and the creative industries was the subject of the night. “The fashion industry is insanely powerful. We create movements, we create trends, we need to make eco-innovation sexy and hot,” said Rubik. Gutsch agreed: “The creative industries can create demand for products that don’t destroy the environment.”

As the sun set over the water and the voice of upcoming singer Zsela (actress Tessa Thompson’s sister) floated on the summer evening breeze, there was a feeling of magic and possibility in the air. “I’d like to scoop up everyone here into a big clear vessel and take them into the deep ocean and show them what life on earth is all about,” said Earle, clearly moved by the passion for ocean health in her audience. “Come to the video booth!” commanded Rubik from the stage. “I invite everyone to make a pledge for the oceans.”

What one-use plastic are you prepared to give up to protect our beautiful blue planet? Record an Insta-video or post a photo: “I pledge to give up [name your single-use plastic] and challenge [@ three companies or individuals] to take the @portermagazine pledge.” Plastic is not fantastic – Avoid, Intercept, Redesign. #plasticnotfantastic #parleyair #passiton

From left: Mario Sorrenti, Lucy Yeomans, Sylvia Earle, Lea Stepken, Cyrill Gutsch, Anja Rubik
Model Aamito Lagum
Anja Rubik and Lucy Yeomans
Marine biologist Sylvia Earle
Models Daiane Sodre and Luna Castilho
Singer-songwriter Zsela
Photographer Inez van Lamsweerde
Model Fernanda Ly
From left: David Bonnouvrier, Tess Macleod Smith, Wendy Abascal de la Faverie and Stéphane de la Faverie
Model Julia Restoin Roitfeld
Model Maryna Linchuk
Model Taja Feistner

The people featured in this story are not associated with NET-A-PORTER and do not endorse it or the products shown.