Whilst in New York last week we were lucky enough to stop by an evening given by the indomitable Donna Karan. One Million Hearts, her latest initiative for Haiti, is an amazing feat, harnessing the power of the CFDA and 150 of their designers to raise money and awareness for Haiti with a focus on a sustainable future for the country. Each designer has customised a papier mâchè heart, on display that night hanging on a riotous wall of colour, and available soon at auction with all proceeds going to Donna’s initiative.
Long an avid supporter of Haiti’s own resources and the potential they hold for not only the country but also for designers who want to make fabulous products, Donna’s Urban Zen studio was filled with decorations, art and artefacts, all sourced from Haiti itself. Lucky enough to be one of the first to arrive, we were able to take in the full raw drama of the papier mâché lights hanging from the ceiling, the Haitian art adorning the walls, the pottery and candles scattered across every surface. One to put her money where her mouth is, Karan has already started producing items in the country, making jewellery on show on the night. As she puts it, the aim is “to help Haiti help itself by utilizing and organizing its artisans, natural resources and production potential to create business models that can be properly marketed and distributed throughout the US and Europe.” As we stood surrounded by the dramatic scenes that such natural resources can create, it seemed a mission that should be entirely possible.
One Million Hearts: Fashion for Haiti
One Million Hearts is a collaboration between Urban Zen, the CFDA and eBay, involving nearly 150 designers including Ralph Lauren, Vera Wang, Prabal Gurung, Tory Burch and Kotur. Each of us has customised a locally crafted papier mâché heart to make for beautiful, one off decorations full of meaning and purpose. All the Hearts for Haiti will be available to buy at auction on eBay between April 22 and May 2, 2013.
Please visit www.ebay.com/fashionforhaiti for more information.