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Fashion’s leaders turn attention to relief efforts for Haiti

February 8, 2010

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A global response to the 2010 earthquake in Haiti has been both great and necessary. Humanitarians across the globe have come together to assist the estimated 3 million people affected by the massive, terrifying quake and its aftershocks.

In addition to prominent aid organizations, the world of fashion takes a step up in effort to help Haiti.

New York Fashion Week:

Designers participating in Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week are organizing a Fashion Benefit for Haiti. “Fashion for Relief” has been orchestrated primarily by Naomi Campbell. Select models and designers will pair up for a show Friday night. All of the event’s ticket and auction proceeds will be donated to Haiti’s relief through CARE, which works principally to rebuild the Haitian health care system for mothers and their children.

Duchess of York Sarah Ferguson will be the show’s host, and fashion celebrity Rachel Zoe is among the stylists. Charlotte Ronson gave up her own timeslot during New York Fashion Week in order to help make the “Fashion for Relief” show a reality. “Fashion for Relief” has previously hosted shows to generate money and aid for several global causes, including the Hurricane Katrina relief, relief for Mumbai and reliefs for India and Dar Es Salaam, Tanzania.

Other designers are further donating ticket sales from their shows at Bryant Park toward relief efforts, including Marc by Marc Jacobs, DKNY, ADAM, Nicole Miller and Ports 1961. Individual tickets have an estimated worth of $350 each.

Fashion clothing, items and accessories:

Many other companies and designers in the fashion industry are donating the proceeds of items purchased from their collections. Although the people of Haiti may need tangible items — clothing, shoes and blankets, for example — monetary donations are most recommended. Because distributing items to the victims of the earthquake is problematic, donating money directly to a reputable organization that is involved in the Haiti relief effort is the most helpful.

Look into buying a fashion item (perhaps one you might be purchasing anyway). Through various department stores, fashion designers and aid organizations, your money can be directly donated to relief funds.

• Marc Jacobs: Designer Marc Jacobs has designed a Louis Vuitton handbag (for purchase on Net-a-Porter beginning March 15). All proceeds donated through CARE.

• Clothes Off Our Back: An online auction is currently being hosted to assist Haitian earthquake victims. Clothing and accessories donated by numerous movie and television stars are up for bid. This auction ends Feb. 17. For more information, visit http://clothesoffourback.org.

• Mango: Scarlett Johansson has designed a handbag to be sold at Mango chain stores. The bag is priced under $30, and all sales generated are donated to Haiti through OXFAM. The bag design depicts a map of Haiti and Johansson’s signature.

• CFDA: The CFDA (Council of Fashion Designers of America) and Peter Arnell, who also designed the logo for a 9/11 commemorative T-shirt, have created a fashion T-shirt to benefit Haiti. For purchasing information, as well as full list of Fashion for Haiti Designers and Retail Locations, visit http://cfda.com.

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