The world of fashion is a hardcore business. To succeed within the industry you must know what you want, how to get it, the who’s who of the industry, and have a drive in you like no other. Almost every successful designer wasn’t handed a fashion line and an endless bank account; they had a vision to create, inspire, and help change the face of fashion.
These designers are inspiring in more ways than simply the collections they develop each season. They defy the lines separating fashion and charity and prove naysayers wrong in that the fashion world is simply for the vain. I for one love the idea of caring, sharing, and doing so fashionably! Supporting do-gooder designers helps empower charities and foundations that set out to help the youth, impoverished countries, education, and world disasters among countless others all while giving you the added bonus of looking stylish!
My award for all around charitable designer goes to Rachel Roy, one of my favorite designers who incorporates more than just clothing into helping others. She is a firm believer that “charity = clarity” and that by helping others, you ultimately gain balance in your own life. I don’t know one single person who doesn’t feel better about their life after volunteering a few hours to an organization in need. What’s better is that Rachel Roy takes helping others to the next level by incorporating the ideas and creativity of everyday people. She asks people through her website how they could improve the lives of others by creating their own charity if they had a $1,000 grant, then chooses a set of winning ideas and gives them the $1,000 seed money to help change the world. Even take a piece home such as her “Kindness is always fashionable” charity tote that supports UNICEF.
My next “award-winning” designer goes to an all American designer who, if I could put everything she has ever created into my closet, I would. Tory Burch wins for her American empowerment for women to succeed in business while helping them obtain the small financial push they could use. Her non-profit foundation started in 2009 and strives to help women all over the United States be able to support their families with basic needs such as shelter, food, clothing, and education. Tory’s foundation partnered with ACCION USA which helps provide small loans and services to help these women succeed. Choose from numerous tops, bags, bracelets, or even sandals to wear to help support the Tory Burch Foundation.
The youth is our future. These young minds are loaded with creativity and knowledge that will lead our society, country, and world into the next century. At least that is what Burberry, also my award winner for most creative and charitable corporation, believes. The Burberry Foundation began in 2008 in an effort to help young minds realize their own dreams and potential through their own creativity. Let’s face it, we don’t’ live in a clear, concrete, and easy world. By helping these kids build connections, take opportunities, and establish confidence, Burberry is opening doors and creating positive changes themselves. My favorite new development of theirs is called Burberry Acoustic, where the company finds the unheard of artist and gives them a platform to be heard. Soon, the infamous tartan-décor company won’t only be known for their 90 degree angled stripes.
Fashion and charity many times cross paths when an item of clothing is designed for a cause. Probably one of the most memorable ones is Lance Armstrong’s Livestrong foundation which helps aid to those struck by cancer. Others would be the t-shirts created to help with relief after the tsunami in Japan or the hurricane that ripped apart New Orleans known as Katrina. My last award goes out to the organization that thoroughly integrates creative fashion, designers, cities around the world, and everyday people into one. Fashion’s Night Out is an initiative to bring together elements of the fashion industry that normally wouldn’t mix to celebrate the world of fashion, restore consumer confidence, boost the economy, and simply bring fun back into shopping. It started in 2009 with the greats of American Vogue, the Council of Fashion Designers of America, NYC & Company, and the city of New York but has become such a hit that has since expanded to 100 cities in the U.S. and 15 countries total! Much like England’s Red Nose Day, be on the lookout in August for the exclusive Fashion’s Night Out collections created by our favorite designers.
Whether you purchase a Gap Red shirt to support the Global Fund for Aids or a Cartier Love collection bracelet to support numerous causes, make your next purchase one that benefits more than just your wardrobe.