For those who live in extreme poverty, clothing is a means of protection. For fashion designers, clothing is identity. Fashion is a way to show the world personality, demeanor, and creativity. Not only do these fashion designers help clothe those who cannot afford their products, but they also help save lives of those in poverty.
These are five fashion designers who help fight poverty.
1. Michael Kors
In his signature all-black attire donning shades from his own brand, Michael Kors sits next to actress Kate Hudson, both flashing their stylish and opulent wrist watches. This advertisement was made to promote Kors’ charity and raise awareness for the charity’s cause.
Watch Hunger Stop is more than a play on words, it is a charity created by the famous fashion designer that has provided 10 million nutritious meals to children in need. Kors’ campaign features a lookbook of his notorious “Kors style” watches, with a big watch face and thick metal band. With the purchase of any of the watches, one hundred meals are donated to hungry children.
Because of his impact, Kors was recently named a U.N. World Food Programme Ambassador for those who do not have the voice to take action against poverty.
His unique and masterful watch design features a map of the world he is helping to save on the watches’ faces. To learn more about Watch Hunger Stop, visit this link.
This high fashion brand is another designer that uses its products to promote change.
With its eloquently crafted and luxurious jewelry, Gucci extends to all forms of fashion, unique and classic. To raise awareness and support for earthquake relief efforts in Japan, Gucci created a piece of jewelry that crosses boundaries greater than fashion.
This limited edition silver chain bracelet can help save the lives of those suffering from displacement and disaster-related health problems. All of the proceeds from the sales of this bracelet benefit the Japanese Red Cross Society to support the victims of the Higashi Nihon Dai-Shinsai earthquake and tsunami.
When one wears the bracelet, he or she emits sympathy for Japan because of the hint of red and white that recalls the colors of the Japanese flag. Simultaneously, the wearer is showing that he or she cares because of the medal the bracelet carries which says “Gucci loves you.”
The fashion brand has also created a handbag that benefits UNICEF in support of the Schools for Africa and Schools for Asia initiatives.
One of the most famous fashion designers of all time, Donatella Versace, also feels for people affected by natural disasters.
Her Versace One Foundation supports those affected by the Sichuan province earthquakes in China. The brand provides art supplies to encourage creativity and teamwork for children living near the disaster area.
Versace created colorful handbags that incorporate child-like drawings on the fabric, seemingly hinting at the reason for the creation of the bags. Fifty percent of the proceeds of these couple-hundred dollar bags go to this foundation.
4. Kate Spade New York
This fashion designer chose clothing instead of jewelry to show her humanitarian side. Kate Spade’s Spring 2014 collection helped create jobs for a community of 20,000 people.
The name of the collection, “On Purpose,” serves a powerful purpose for women in Rwanda. The brand teamed up with the locals to help educate artisans in the community about marketing for the betterment of their businesses.
“On Purpose” targeted a collection of mostly female workers, forging equality and creating a different work dynamic for the people in Rwanda.
5. Kenneth Cole
Moved by the AIDS outbreak in the 1980s, fashion designer Kenneth Cole joined the amfAR board. He was later elected as chairman of the executive committee.
His classic and simple fashion brand helps to provide most of the creative advertising for the HIV/AIDS research and awareness that amfAR uses. According to amfAR, Cole has “initiated public awareness efforts annually since 1985.”
With his famous “We All Have AIDS” campaign, Cole employed key entertainment, political, social and scientific leaders to help change the social stigma surrounding HIV/AIDS victims.
Cole’s help has moved amfAR to a different stage, carrying the hope of finding cures for life-threatening diseases.
There are many more fashion designers like these who use their celebrity power to enhance the lives of those in poverty. Henceforth, it can be said that fashion, like the clothing mentioned earlier, can be a means for protection from hunger, disaster, inequality and disease.
– Fallon Lineberger