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by on December 8, 2011

Karlie Kloss, Zac Posen, Hilary Rhoda, Jeremy Scott, Rebecca Minkoff and a flock of fashionable friends joined professional poser Coco Rocha and Victoria’s Secret Angel Behati Prinsloo at Milk Gallery last night to commemorate the premiere of the documentary, Letters to Haiti. Directed by Coco’s husband, James Conran, the film chronicles their recent trip to Haiti and explores how children on the island nation are coping in the aftermath of last year’s devastating earthquake. In addition to the film, Behati’s portraits from the trip were on exhibit and guests were invited to bid on them to benefit the charity LakayPAM.

Coco Rocha and Behati Prinsloo Write Heartfelt Letters to Haiti

Photos: Josh Wong Photography

Creole for “my home,” LakayPAM was founded in 2006 by Cedrick Roche, his wife Carolina Bittencourt and Mathias Youbi to help provide poor children with food, shelter, medical care, education and other basic needs.  Interacting with the Haitian kids, however, one would scarcely know they face such adversity on a daily basis.

“It was almost as if they didn’t know something happened,” Coco said. “They’ve gone through so much that it gave the entire experience a real hope. Even when we had the cameras. The adults did not want cameras in their faces – I could understand that — in the beginning, when there was so much, they thought ‘We’re going to be saved!’ And nothing happened.  When we came with our cameras, they did not want that. But the kids were like, ‘Yeah! Let’s do it! I’m a model!’ There were at least three or four kids I wanted to take home with me. I’ll be the new Angelina!”

Check out the film below:

For all involved, the time spent in Haiti clearly made a lasting impression — both Coco and James and Cedrick and Carolina plan on visiting later this month, while after the film screening I couldn’t help but notice Behati overcome with tears. Her photos were a testament to the spirit of the trip and displayed that the model is just as proficient behind the camera as she is in front of it. While this was her first exhibit – a major accomplishment she ranks alongside strolling the VS runway – photography is something she will do long after she hangs up her wings.

Letters to Haiti was an incredibly moving event that at least inspired one young super in the audience. Karlie Kloss couldn’t wait to get involved, but Haiti will have to wait till at least the New Year – first she has to head back to St. Louis for the holidays.

James Conran and Coco Rocha


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Contributed by Lester Brathwaite

I was center square from 1969 to 1978, during which I perfected the art of the zing as well as a crippling cocaine addiction. Bea Arthur was responsible for both. @LesFabian lester dot brathwaite at gmail