Fundraising is the new black, at least in the creative world of the high-fashion industry. Do-good fashionistas out there are working out their passions with style.
At Vivanista, we can all learn from some of the world’s most fashionable philanthropists. Here are the top five role models we can all look up to:
1. Stella McCartney
Last year, Stella McCartney designed a , tailor-made fair-trade T-shirt for the 23rd annual Comic Relief on the British extravaganza Red Nose Day. The comical day is dedicated for people to laugh out loud while raising money to help those in need across the UK and Africa.
For the project, McCartney turned to other fabulous stars for collaboration, including Claudia Schiffer, Keira Knightley, and Gwyneth Paltrow. The T-shirt also featured father Sir Paul McCartney’s The Beatles logo, imprinted with cute red noses on the happy faces of the band members.
The McCartney family’s respect for nature and vegetarianism founded the Meat Free Mondays, an organization that helps promote environmentally friendly eating habit to protect the planet. This has fostered Stella’s founding beliefs of her individual fashion sense – no fur, no leather (Shop: www.stellamccartney.com), and won her the Natural Resources Defence Council in March 2009. “The beliefs I was raised with – to respect animals and to be aware of nature, to understand that we share this planet with other creatures – have had a huge impact on me,” said Stella to The Guardian.
Recently, her L.A. retail store has inspired like-minded do-gooder celebrity Ali Carter, who hosted her own fundraising event at her store on November 12 last week. The eco-friendly (and fashionable!) cooking event benefits Project Peanut Butter, a movement to help malnourished children all around the world.
On the eve of the 2009 London Fashion Week, McCartney also donated a generous amount of 100,000 pounds for the new site of Central Saint Martin’s fashion school. Upon her graduation from the prestigious school in 1995, she made her debut fashion show, which included supermodels Kate Moss, Yasmin Le Bon, and Naomi Campbell. The half-built building is to be completed in 2011.
2. Donnatella Versace
Another reputable graduate from the same school is none other than Donatella Versace, who recently just raised £20,000 for the Central Saint Martin’s 20:20 Fashion Fund from the celebrity dinner she launched on November 11 last week. The fund is aiming to provide new equipments and resources for helping educate the next generation of CSM. “I’ve been watching these students – and recruiting them. This is the greatest fashion school in the world,” she told WWD.
Early this year, the legendary fashion icon has also hosted the 2nd annual Art of Elysium “Bright Lights” bash at Milk Studios in New York while relaunching her VERSUS line since its first launch in the 1990s. Versace brightened up the night with an exclusive performance of “American Boy” by Estelle, along with guest-celebrities such as the Olsen twins, supermodel Karolina Kurkova, and fourth season Project Runway winner Christian Siriano attended the event on April 30th, and together raised money for the Art of Elysium workshops, which provides encouraging activities for ill children to embrace their creativity, despite suffering from medical conditions.
In July 2009, Versace has led an art workshop for kids to design a bag for Versace. That would become the unique tote created by 500 children from Starlight Children’s Foundation and 900 from One Foundation, teaming up with co-founder actor Jet Li to fundraise for the Arts Unites program, a global initiative benefiting the needy children in US and China. As the co-chair of the Whitney Museum of American Art, she drove the Arts Unites initiative to inspire these children to become emerging artists. “Versace has always been connected to art,” she told USAToday.
3. Naomi Campbell
After appearing on numerous catwalks worldwide since Stella McCartney’s graduation, supermodel Naomi Campbell recently hosted her own charitable fashion show during London Fashion Week, the Fashion for Relief Haiti, on February 12 this year to help relief the Haiti earthquake.
“I am deeply saddened by the recent tragedy in Haiti. So many have been killed and severely affected by the earthquake – women and children in particular are most vulnerable in disasters,” she told the Daily Star. She sought help from buddies including Malin Akerman, Chris Brown, and Estelle to make it happen. Upon her initiative for the fashion show, she also worked together with luxury car company Lotus to design its 8th special edition cars called Naomi for Haiti.
In 2007, the supermodel has also strutted her philanthropic style on a fundraising catwalk event held at the Natural History Museum in London. Organized by the Rotary Club of Great Britain, the fashion show included designs by reputable designers such as Vivienne Westwood and Dolce & Gabbana, and the proceeds from the night went to the Rotary Flood Disaster Appeal that benefits the floods in UK during the month of July that year.
“I think this is an important opportunity to really show what the fashion community can do to help others,” Campbell says. She now owns Fashion For Relief, the fundraising agency that hosts charitable auctions to help victims of Hurricane Katrina.
4. Gisele Bundchen
As Naomi Campbell noted “the last supermodel” of the generation and often referred to as “the body”, Gisele Bundchen has not only been the highest-paid model of the century, but has also helped numerous projects promoting environmental causes. Just this January, she has donated $1,500,000 to relief the Haiti earthquake. Along with many contributions, such as the fundraiser campaign of celebrity-autographed iPods in 2009 benefiting the Hurricane Katrina relief, one of the most notable projects is the reforestation created by NGO in 2004, where the newly-grown Brazilian Atlantic forest will be covering lands up to 15 hectares and called the Gisele Bundchen Sementes.
With tremendous profits from a 15-year history of successful modeling career and her own businesses, eco-friendly skincare line Sejaa and Brazilian sandals Ipanema Gisele Bundchen, the face of ‘Earth Mother’ has recently donated a huge amount of $50,000 on her own for the 8th Annual Brazil Foundation gala at the Met in September, which had a set goal of $2 million. Thanks to Bundchen and her auctioned Calvin Klein gown for the night, the evening was more than successful. In that same week, she has also stopped by the Museum of Natural History for the UN Millennium Goal Summit, where she was designated as a goodwill ambassador for the United Nations Environmental Programme.
5. Donna Karan
Following the 2010 presidential campaign, the legendary DKNY designer Donna Karan has collaborated with Sex and the City star Sarah Jessica Parker, hosting a Democratic fundraiser last month to raise money for the First Lady at her penthouse at Central Park West New York on October 18th.
Early this year during the Mercedez Benz Fashion Week that opened on February 11, Karan also hosted the Hope Help & Relief Haiti (HHRH) event, “A Night of Humanity”, an auction event that raised over $1,000,000 and brought together industries ranging from the arts, fashion, and entertainment at the Urban Zen Center. As founder of the Urban Zen Foundation, Karan’s aim for the HHRH movement was to raise funds for creating a new, sustainable community in Haiti.
A healthy woman who knows how to take care of herself, she also hosted a yoga fundraising event on September 29, where supermodel Christy Turlington and fellow designer Lauren Bush attended to benefit the Women for Women International, which was founded to help rebuild women’s lives from war-torn countries such as Iraq and Afghanistan.
Like Stella McCartney, she has also Promoted her passions on giving back to the community through designing T-shirts for the Urban Zen collection.10% of each purchase would be donated to the foundation and help empower children, promote well-being, and cultural preservation.
About the Author:
Vivanista is a member-based, lifestyle community for fundraising volunteers. Sharing of unique insights, expert tips and a spirit of giving empowers members to improve their own lives and the lives of others.