Money & Power

Look: Instagram Founders, Marissa Mayer, and Other Titans of Tech Partying at the SF Modern Ball

Marissa Mayer, Sergey Brin, and the founders of Instagram joined more than 2,000 attendees in celebrating the SFMOMA.

Witha major exhibit of surrealist master René Magritte's work opening soon at the San Francisco Museum of Modern Art, it was fitting that the most talked-about guest at the museum's Modern Ball this week was artist Mark George, who wore a classic grey suit topped by a massive eyeball covering his entire head. When the dress code for a San Francisco party says "make a statement," anything goes!

More than 2,000 people attended the seven-hour party, from artists and art collectors to philanthropists and business people, and folks just eager to see a performance by Little Dragon.

Here's a look at the night's festivities.

Mark George

Sergey Brin and Nicole Shanahan

One man who drew attention on his own without need for a costume was tech titan Sergey Brin, who matched the mood of girlfriend Nicole Shanahan's Beatles-inspired look by wearing a tie-dyed shirt with his suit.

Here Comes the Sun

Nicole Shanahan's patchwork skirt by Alice + Olivia, with the words "Love Me Do," was inspired by The Beatles.

Sergey Brin

The Google co-founder is rarely seen at social events, so his appearance at the fundraiser was not only surprising, but important as a sign that the tech community is fully embracing the arts in San Francisco.

Sonya Yu, in Junya Watanabe

"I think the arts and the tech community have wanted to engage one another, but haven't known the right way to go about it," said Sonya Yu, a co-chair of the evening's festivities.

A photographer and businesswoman, Yu is part of a vibrant group of young people taking an increasingly prominent role in bringing art, design, and fashion to the forefront of Silicon Valley tech culture.

Instagram's Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger


Other central figures in San Francisco's newly meshed worlds of art, design, fashion and tech include Instagram founders Kevin Systrom and Mike Krieger, and their wives Nicole Systrom and Kaitlyn Krieger.

Gallerist Jessica Silverman and sociologist Sarah Thornton, industrial designer Yves Behar, influential art adviser Sabrina Buell, author Calgary Avansino, jeweler Emily Wheeler, and Goop creative consultant Brittany Pattner were other important players on the scene.

Evan and Sara Williams

Twitter co-founder Evan Williams and wife Sara are big supporters of the arts in San Francisco.

Marissa Mayer and Zachary Bogue

Marissa Mayer, who recently founded an exciting new tech incubator in the Bay Area, has with husband Zachary Bogue been a strong supporter of the visual and performing arts for several years.

Komal Shah

Silicon Valley investor Komal Shah wore an Oscar de la Renta dress inspired by the work of Pat Steir, an artist she and her husband Gaurav Shah collect.

Vanessa Getty, in Libertine

Jessica Silverman and Sarah Thornton

Clay Danielsen and Emily Wheeler

Emily Wheeler carried an Attico bag with her Maison Margiela jumpsuit.

Courtney Dallaire, in Missoni

Katie Traina, in Marc Jacobs

Zack Lara and Alex Mallick

Alex Mallick, the executive director of Re:store Justice, made a literary statement with her look for the evening.

Allison Speer, Andrew Gn, Carolyn Chang

Allison Speer, in a piece by Christopher Kane, with designer Andrew Gn, and Dr. Carolyn Chang in red Givenchy.

Marimekko-inspired daisies

A post shared by Andrew Gn (@andrewgn_designer) on

Fashion's master of floral embroideries and richly colored prints, Andrew Gn was one of many guests who raved about the way event designer Stanlee Gatti used a print inspired by Marimekko's Unikko daisy for the gala's decor.


"I think it's very dynamic, very striking," he said.

Sobia Shaikh and Lisa Zabelle

Gina Peterson and Nina Buchbinder

Dennis Hearst and Leah Hearst

Raphaela Lipinsky and John Fisher

Grace Lazarus and Emma Fisher

Lexie Fisher George

Randi Fisher

Joe Lacob and Nicole Curran

James Fleming and Genevieve Brisebois

Thurlow Washam and Karen Caldwell

Calgary Avansino

Nancy Bechtle, Charlotte Shultz, Sonya Yu, and Jane Gruber

The Modern Ball was chaired by Nancy Hellman Bechtle and Charlotte Mailliard Shultz, with sponsorship from United Airlines, AT&T, Bank of America, Method Products, Valentino, and Facebook.

Proceeds from the event support SFMOMA's celebrated exhibitions and education programs, which serve more than 60,000 students, teachers and families each year.

Olivia June and Paris Rouzati

A post shared by Olivia June (@heyoliviajune) on

Chef Dominique Crenn and Nicole Lou

Kelcey Morton and Yelp's Jeremy Stoppelman

The Method Photo Booth

A post shared by Pixcbooth (@pixcbooth) on

Method sponsored a colorful pixCbooth photo booth made of colored soaps.

Yves Behar and Sabrina Buell

Ethan Beard and Wei Chu

Brittany Pattner

Katie Schwab Paige

Mary Beth Shimmon

O.J. Shansby, in Chanel, with John Berggruen

Calgary Brown and Bibiana Leite

Hazel Tran

James Rogers and Ismael Acosta

A Performance by Little Dragon

A post shared by ?? ???? (@annna_karenina) on

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* Minor edits have been made by the editors.

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Damion Matthews
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