T H I R D A N N UA L
FIRST LADIES LUNCHEON
Kora Ruma bangle with white
Mettle Neptune tube necklace
The Sway Phone pouch in white
THE ONE-STOP SHOPPE
LUXURY ACCESSORIES Kayu Shireen clutch in white
Kaya Rawa bamboo sunglasses
Tanzila Rab Citrine and turquoise earrings
Alexandra Taylor Fashion 4 Development scarf
In the presence of Heads of State, Heads of Government and First Ladies during the 68th United Nations General Assembly Honored Guest, First Lady of the United Nations
MADAM BAN SOON-TAEK
Thursday, September 26th, 2013
THE PIERRE HOTEL FIFTH AVENUE New York City 11:30am - 2:30pm
President and Founder, Fashion 4 Development
Goodwill Ambassador, Fashion 4 Development Editor-in-Chief, Vogue Italia
President of Advanced Development for Africa (ADA) Honorees
Founder, the Rose of Sharon Foundation
COVER PHOTO BY MAURICIO VELEZ
Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast and Founder of Women in the World
Founder, The Green Carpet Challenge
Executive Director of UNAIDS
GIVING BACK IS THE NEW LUXURY
Fashion 4 Development president and founder EVIE EVANGELOU on the way forward
ashion is much more than what meets the eye. While it’s one of the most celebrated forms of creative expression, it’s also a way of life and livelihood. This was the inspiration behind Fashion 4 Development. The organization was launched three years ago to illustrate that fashion is more than just about how we look – it is also a unifying platform to bridge divides among countries and cultures. F4D was established to change perceptions, preserve cultures, and create universal understanding and tolerance among communities, serving as an outreach and awareness platform to empower and educate. Over the last year, with support from our benevolent partners and friends, we have made significant strides forward in uniting leaders from the fashion, philanthropic and business sectors, with cultures from around the globe. Among those leaders, partnerships were forged with organizations such as Sustainia, Fashion Group International, Fashion Institute of Technology, Della Valle Group, Major Models, Yoox International e-commerce, Lavazza coffee, the Life Ball in Vienna, Italian brand Pinko, China Beauty Charity Fund, Italian retailer La Rinascente and The Dubai Mall.
“WHILE THE JOURNEY AHEAD MAY BE A CHALLENGE, IT’S ONE WORTH TAKING AND THE DREAM FOR A BETTER WORLD MUST CONTINUE TO EVOLVE IN THE PROCESS”
F4D CHAMPIONS ETHICALLY SOURCED CREATIONS FROM DESIGNERS ACROSS THE WORLD, INCLUDING THE PIECES BELOW / PHOTO (ABOVE) COURTESY OF MAJOR MODELS
Fashion brands that F4D partnered with included Marni, Cavalli, Missoni, Etro, Versace, Moschino, Givenchy and Bottega Veneta. These collective efforts have expansive reach from Asia to Africa and the Middle East, and have focused on the provision of models of sustainability for economic growth, ethical trade, health aid to the underserved, job training programs and e-commerce opportunities.
Tanzila Rab Red onyx earrings
Kora Ruma bangles with ocean
The United Nations hosted a F4D roundtable and press conference at its New York headquarters Entitled ‘F4D: The Way Forward’, this provided an essential forum to share our story and garner support for our vision for a way forward. While the journey ahead may be a challenge, it’s one worth taking and the dream for a better world must continue to evolve in the process. As extending our reach and awareness is vital, I’m also thrilled to share that the launch of some exciting initiatives are underway – much of which you’ll hear about during this year’s F4D luncheon. These include F4D TV, ModaVie magazine (showcased in this program), them online F4D Shoppe and League of Gentlmen. EVANGELOU SPREADING THE WORD AT THE VIENNA OPERA BALL WHERE SHE MET WITH PRESIDENT OF AUSTRIA HEINZ FISCHER AND FIRST LADY MARGIT FISCHER, AND GERY KESZLER, FOUNDER OF LIFE BALL
“Access to opportunity in various forms is the window through which we observe the world as a place of not just possibility but dreams fulfilled” Other projects that are not front and center today, but of equal merit are Beauty 4 Empowerment, a heroines coffee table book and the Presidents’ Circle and more. I invite you to explore these with me in the future. Access to opportunity in various forms is the window through which we observe the world as a place of not just possibility but dreams fulfilled. Today’s Third Annual Official First Ladies Luncheon is a celebration of those who embody the spirit of dreamers – and what better window to view this through than the medium of fashion? My work is exceptionally gratifying and I’m most fortunate to be a part of your lives with this experience. Thank you all for your continued support of F4D and for the privilege of your presence today. Enjoy the show!
EVANGELOU SPEAKS AT UN PRESS CONFERENCE ABOUT UN SECRETARYGENERAL BAN KI-MOON ON L’UOMO VOGUE’S COVER; LAST YEAR’S F4D LUNCHEON WITH TORY BURCH, MADAME OKKE RAJASA, EVANGELOU AND MARTHA STEWART
EDITOR-IN-CHIEF ART DIRECTOR
KRISTIN BOLLIER ERIK RASMUSSEN DINO BONAČIĆ KELLY DARR
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LETTER FROM THE EDITOR
Driving Change Editor-in-Chief CARRIE BUCKLE believes that together we have the power to create a better world
atching the sun set behind an amber-hued Acropolis in Athens, I am penning this letter and reflecting on the inaugural issue of ModaVie. It seems apt that I’m in a place that today is still buzzing with creative energy, as it reveres its past while trying to carve out a new chapter. This is just a taster of the new official Fashion 4 Development magazine, but we are excited to bring you the first lineup. Our mission is to showcase the incredible people making a difference around the world – not just in fashion, but in areas such as health, education and development. With the F4D tagline of ‘giving back is the new luxury’, a common thread is inspiring sustainable economic and social change in order to create a brighter future.
moving reply was: “The thought that one day I will go back and sit under my mango tree in Mali, at peace because I know that there will be no more babies born with HIV.” Last but not least of our honorees is Nigerian businesswoman Folorunsho Alakija whose Rose of Sharon Foundation has advanced 970 widows since launching five years ago. “Our biggest achievements so far have been seeing the tears of these widows wiped away giving them confidence and restoring their lost self-esteem,” she says. Fashion is often seen as ephemeral, but a new wave of designers are using it start a deeper narrative about social responsibility. Take Mary-Ann Kai Kai’s ethical Madam Wokie label, for example – she is bringing the traditional print power of her native Sierra Leone to the present day, and creating jobs for local tailors, weavers and dyers. New York-based Angel Chang fuses high fashion with ancient Chinese craftsmanship, using fabrics made by indigenous minorities in the Guizhou province in China. These are just two F4D designers who are preserving time-honored traditions and empowering communities with fair trade employment.
Where better to start that with our Agents of Change? First up in our stellar list of honorees is fashion visionary Franca Sozzani, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia and F4D Goodwill Ambassador. A risk-taker throughout her pioneering career, her work epitomizes the notion that fashion CARRIE BUCKLE IS INSPIRED BY THE is more than just about fabric – it’s a powWORK OF ETHICAL DESIGNERS SUCH AS MARY-ANN KAI KAI FOR MADAM erful vehicle for driving social and enviFinally, in our Time for Action section, we WOKIE (ABOVE) ronmental dialogue. Another fashion shine a spotlight on philanthropists such game-changer is Livia Firth, founder of as Coumba Touré, founder of Advanced the Green Carpet Challenge. By recruitDevelopment for Africa, who is devoted ing A-listers and top designers, she has injected glamour, and to pushing change across the continent. Entrepreneur Naila fun, into sustainable fashion. It was hugely inspiring to chat Chowdhury meanwhile is spearheading a new Women 4 with Daily Beast Editor-in-Chief Tina Brown about her groundEmpowerment platform to end gender-based violence, espebreaking Woman in the World Summit that has brought tocially acid attacks in Bangladesh – a cause close to her heart. gether everyone from Oprah to Liberian activist and Nobel Peace Prize winner Leymah Gbowee. It’s a privilege to be Editor-in-Chief of ModaVie and we can’t wait to bring you more inspirational stories. By uniting in this way, we can fuse our strengths for a better world. I hope you Working to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals, we are proud to honor Michel Sidibé, Executive enjoy our first issue as much we’ve enjoyed putting it together, Director of UNAIDS. When I asked what drives him, his and we invite you to join us on our exciting journey.
THE GLOBAL PLATFORM F4D FIRST LADIES LUNCHEON ‘12
IS THE NEW LUXURY
MADAM WOKIE SS ‘14 BY MARY-ANN KAI KAI
arnessing the power of creativity, Fashion 4 Development is striving to inspire sustainable economic and social change worldwide. The global awareness platform was launched by Evie Evangelou in 2011 on South-South News, a digital media broadcaster working in support of the United Nation Millennium Development Goals (MDGs). F4D has since expanded to a private sector global initiative that champions the United Nations MDGs, by uniting fashion, diplomacy, media and business.
PHOTO BY JUSTIN JIN / JUSTINJIN.COM
DESIGNER ANGEL CHANG’S TEXTILE WORK WITH CHINESE ARTISANS
F4D has also successfully united organizations and individuals in support of Every Woman Every Child, an initiative spearheaded by United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon. With a tagline of ‘Giving back is the new luxury’, the F4D brand is becoming a fixture in fashion and international communities, and its message is being received with open arms around the world. The guiding principles? The 4Es: Educate, Empower, Enhance and Enrich.
ZANG TOI FW ‘13
PHOTO BY MAMBU BAYOH
FASHION AND DIPLOMACY
A MEETING OF MINDS WITH FRANCA SOZZANI, EVIE EVANGELOU AND UNITED NATIONS SECRETARY-GENERAL BAN KI-MOON (LEFT)
FULFILLING OUR MISSION
iving back is the new luxury is more than a statement, it’s a lifestyle philosophy that is also a call to action. In the last year, Fashion 4 Development has been instrumental in bringing many efforts to fruition. Guided by the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals, and with the help of its Goodwill Ambassador Franca Sozzani, Editor-In-Chief of Vogue Italia, F4D has made significant headway in bringing education, healthcare and job sustainability models to over 20 countries around the globe. With its global partners, it has provided employment and economic development totaling $1.4 million and its media outreach was valued at $5 million. F4D is part of a movement that’s enhancing the lives of many –one person, one community at a time.
WITH ITS INTERNATIONAL PARTNERS, F4D RAISED $600,000 IN THE YEAR TO SEPTEMBER 2013, PRIMARILY TO AID WOMEN AND CHILDREN’S HEALTHCARE INTERNATIONALLY
Joined forces with Lavazza coffee which enlisted six fashion brands - Marni, Cavalli, Missoni, Etro, Versace and Moschino - to create limited edition coffee containers. This raised $150,000 to benefit Women Create Life of the Every Women Every Child initiative, with the World Health Organization. Partnered with Chinese singer Li Yuchun, with costumes provided gratis by Givenchy. Funds that would have otherwise gone towards purchase of wardrobe were donated as well as a percentage of concert sales. Proceeds, estimated at $200,000, will be invested in healthcare for women and children in China. Supported a project with Della Valle Group’s and L’Uomo Vogue featuring Chinese celebrities in four exhibits in China and one in Italy. A sum of $50,000 was raised for healthcare for women and children in China, supported by Save the Children.
WORDS BY KELLY DARR
RAY CHAMBERS, EVIE EVANGELOU, FRANCA SOZZANI AND ASSISTANT SECRETARY-GENERAL ROBERT C. ORR AT F4D’S ROUNDTABLE AT THE UNITED NATIONS
An Empowering Journey NOTABLE PROJECTS THAT F4D HAS CHAMPIONED IN THE PAST YEAR
Raised funds for the victims of the Rana Plaza factory collapse in Bangladesh.
Partnered with Sustainia to initiate its Sustainia Fashion sector.
Partnered with Bottega Veneta to bring fashion talent from Africa to Italy to learn about design, business and trade.
Launched Women 4 Empowerment global awareness platform. Partnered with the China Beauty Charity Fund and Fashion Institute of Technology to create a program for scholarships and internships with global brands for emerging Chinese design talent.
ILARIA VENTURINI FENDI CELEBRATES ALONGSIDE HER EMPLOYEES IN AFRICA (ABOVE)
Collaborating with a fashion school in Dubai to offer scholarships to young, African students is in development.
DESIGNER ANGEL CHANG WORKS ALONGSIDE WOMEN IN INDIGENOUS CHINA TO PRESERVE TEXTILE CRAFTSMENSHIP (BELOW)
Opened a fashion school in Bali, Indonesia with investment from beachwear brand Yamamay. More than 50 people have been employed, while learning Balinese embroidery.
PHOTO BY JUSIN JIN / JUSTINJIN.COM
Partnered with Fashion Group International to showcase upcoming designers from around the globe to a highlevel fashion industry audience in New York twice a year.
PHOTO BY JUSTIN JIN
Provided support for Cita Tenun Indonesia association of weavers
PHOTO BY JUSTIN JIN
FRANCA SOZZANI SITS ALONGSIDE AN AFRICAN STUDENT (RIGHT) BISILA BOKOKO BRINGING LITERACY TO CHILDREN IN AFRICA (LEFT)
F4D HAS SUPPORTED JOB PROGRAMS AND AWARENESS CAMPAIGNS TO EMPOWER COMMUNITIES IN AFRICA Initiated a project with Yoox International e-commerce, in which they committed to purchase $100,000 from young African designers, offering them work and visibility. All designs have sold out. Designers included Kofi Anshan and Global Mamas in Ghana; Nina, LDA and Tiffany Amber from Nigeria; Mamaâ€™s Milk, Sabah and Elm from Ethiopia; and Le Collane Di Betta from Kenya.
With Italian brand Pinko, F4D produced 25,000 bags in Africa, generating $400,000 in earnings for workers in Ethiopia. In association with La Rinascente store in Milan, during Design Week, F4D launched a project with African designers and artists, which resulted in sales of $80,000. With Moschino, F4D produced a small part of their collection in Africa which generated $35,000 for fashion brand GTP Ghana, $39,000 for Crochet Sisters and $31,000 for Cream Misaim Jewelry. Partnered with Oviesse, a retail chain in Europe, and initiated jewelry production in Ghana and Kenya totaling $10,000 in earnings. For The Dubai Mall, F4D are producing bracelets in Ethiopia which will generate sales of $30,000, plus there are several
PHOTO BY JUSTIN JIN
PHOTO BY JUSTIN JIN
WORDS BY KELLY DARR
other projects in development.
Fashion 4 Development founder and president Evie Evangelou was presented the Fashion Group International Humanitarian Award at the 30th Annual Night of the Stars, October 22, 2013. At this red carpet event, awards were given to the top visionaries in the fashion industry, including Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Angela Missoni.
Guests included Aretha Franklin, Sofia Coppola, Miley Cyrus and many other stars, dressed in award recipientsâ€™ fashion. Read more about the award evening via the New York Times or visit the Fashion Group International site to view the FGI Award Recipients list and photos. 12
FRANCA SOZZANI, VOGUE ITALIA’S EDITOR-IN-CHIEF, IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2013 F4D MEDAL OF HONOR, ACKNOWLEDGING HER OUTSTANDING SERVICE
CHANGE F4D HONORS REVOLUTIONARY LEADERS AND VISIONARIES FRANCA SOZZANI, MICHEL SIDIBÉ, LIVIA FIRTH, TINA BROWN AND FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA
AGENTS OF CHANGE
SOZZANI IS PASSIONATE ABOUT GIVING BACK AND EMPOWERING WOMEN
FASHION VISIONARY FRANCA SOZZANI, Editor-in-Chief of Vogue Italia, talks with Carrie Buckle about 25 years of style trailblazing
A visionary from the outset, the super-stylish editor was a key player in ushering in the new era of the supermodel in the early 1990s by 14
including models’ names on their cover images. She has never shied away from controversy – one of the most memorable occasions was her provocative photo of model Kristen McMenamy covered in oil in the aftermath of the BP disaster in 2010, shot by Steven Meisel. Where does Sozzani’s fearlessness come from? “I just think that nothing is forever,” says the 63-year-old, who was previously an editor at Vogue Bambini and Italian fashion magazine Lei. “When you approach something new, you don’t know what will happen. You know it’s a risk, but you know that you don’t have a choice if you want to change.” Sozzani is known for her headline-making special editions such as Vogue Italia’s July 2008 ‘Black Issue’ featuring only black models (which sold out in the U.S. in three days). Then there was the June 2011 ‘Curvy Issue’ with three plus-size models on the cover – Sozzani went on to launch Vogue Curvy, an online section on the magazine’s website devoted to full-figured women. “‘Vogue Curvy’ was a way to break down the usual idea that skinny is beautiful. Sometimes it’s just a problem,” says the editor who launched an international campaign against pro-anorexia websites and blogs. What kind of groundbreaking future issues or campaigns can we expect in the future? “I know that I want to go on in finding ideas that are not
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FRANCA SOZZANI
assion for people is what drives me,” says Franca Sozzani, as she reflects on an esteemed career of breaking new ground in fashion. At the helm of Vogue Italia for the past 25 years, the style luminary has continually taken risks and in doing so, transformed the nature of the magazine. “I’m proud of my work as I completely changed the way to make fashion magazines using great photographers,” says Sozzani who in person has an ethereal beauty, with soulful blue eyes and pre-Raphaelite golden curls. One of fashion’s bravest, she is celebrated for creating arresting, boundary-pushing images with the likes of fashion photographers Steven Meisel, Bruce Weber and Paolo Roversi – images that became more than just about the visual, but also about driving a social and cultural dialogue. In doing so, she elevated Vogue Italia to one of the most influential, and avant-garde, fashion magazines in the world.
For Sozzani, fashion is more than just about fabric. “Women can get empowered through fashion by having a job and a salary in a fair trade situation,” she says. “Work gives dignity to a woman.”
only aesthetically beautiful but with a concept,” says Sozzani, who has a degree in philosophy and Germanic language and literature. As Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development, Sozzani has turned her attention to Africa of late. Her L’Uomo Vogue ‘Rebranding Africa’ issue in May 2012, with United Nations SecretaryGeneral Ban Ki-moon on the cover, was a resounding success. “That was important because it brought attention to a new Africa,” Sozzani enthuses. “Not a charity approach anymore, which I hate, but a real approach towards working to support people.” For the issue, she traveled across the continent with her photographer son Francesco Carrozzini and met with designers, presidents and first ladies, but also local personalities such as artists, actors and models. “Africans are proud and strong, and even with thousands of problems, they will be successful,” she says.
This focus on Africa is ongoing and there are future trips in the pipeline. “I have to go back to Africa, to Burkina Faso and Nigeria, for some new projects and I have to find distribution for young African designers.” Indeed Sozzani is known for her talent for spotting not only new photographers, but also designers. “I discovered and created a new generation of designers,” she says when talking about her proudest achievements in her 25 years at Vogue Italia. When asked what she thinks has been the secret to her success, she replies: “Finding new concepts and scouting new talents.” In recognition of her accomplishments, Sozzani was awarded the Legion of Honour - France’s highest decoration - by French President Nicolas Sarkozy in 2012. “I’ve had a lot of chances in my life,” she says, reflecting on receiving the award. “I felt very lucky.” This has only served to fuel her desire to continue to challenge stereotypes and drive positive change globally. “I have a dream that more people will become more committed to helping others who are not as lucky as we are,” she says. While she doesn’t have a personal role model, the philosophy that she lives by is: “I live day by day trying to do something good.”
“I have a dream that more people will become committed to helping others who are not as lucky as we are”
Recent projects that Sozzani has championed include one with Lavazza coffee whereby designers were commissioned to create limited edition boxes and this raised $150,000 to benefit Women Create Life of the Every Women Every Child initiative, with the World Health Organization. She also spearheaded a deal with Italian brand Pinko which placed an order for 25,000 bags to be made in Ethiopia.
SOZZANI IS THE RECIPIENT OF THE 2013 F4D MEDAL OF HONOR, DESIGNED BY TANZILA RAB
AGENTS OF CHANGE
SIDIBÉ IS STRIVING TO BEAT THE AIDS EPIDEMIC
GIVING A VOICE UNAIDS/N.LIEBER
MICHEL SIDIBÉ, Executive Director of
UNAIDS, tells Carrie Buckle about his vision for a future with no babies born with HIV
Today, this stirring memory is never far from Sidibé’s mind as he forges a highprofile career empowering those without a voice in society. Early in his career,he worked with the nomadic Tuareg people in Timbuktu (“an amazing opportunity”, he says) and started some of the first health and education programs. He went on to work at UNICEF for 14 years where he over saw programs across Africa. Since 2009, he has been Executive Director of UNAIDS, a joint United Nations program for HIV/AIDS. And Sidibé means 16
business – his robust mission is a future with no new HIV infections, no discrimination and no AIDS-related deaths. “HIV created a unique global social movement which united demands for the right to HIV services and catalyzed a global effort to halt the epidemic,” explains Sidibé, who is a Knight of the National Order
countries and there were more than half a million fewer deaths in 2011 than in 2005. “These are great achievements but unless political will is sustained and strengthened, there is a serious risk that these gains could be reversed,” continues Sidibé, “It’s more important now than ever to keep the momentum going.”
“WE ARE ON TRACK TO REACH THE FIRST AIDS-FREE GENERATION IN 30 YEARS” of the Legion of Honour of France. “This had never happened before for any disease and 30 years on, this movement has enabled the trajectory of the epidemic to be reversed. World leaders took notice, communities rallied and people became educated about HIV.” Today more than ten million people now have access to life saving anti-retroviral medicines, there has been a 50 percent drop in new HIV infections across 25
Sidibé, 61,who is married with four children, is a leader who is not afraid of setting brave targets and he is calling for the elimination of new HIV infections among children by 2015. What is it that drives him to keep going? “The thought that one day I will go back and sit under my mango tree in Mali, at peace because I know that there will be no more babies born with HIV and that their mothers will stay alive and healthy to watch them grow.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF UNAIDS
rowing up in the tough neighborhood of Bamako in Mali, Michel Sidibé’s life changed forever when he saw a man with a mental illness being victimized by other children “I was inspired to stand up for justice and human dignity,’ says the Under Secretary-General of the United Nations. ‘I became friends with him and used to take him food. He taught me a life lesson that a mentor can often come from an unexpected source.”
What inspired you to join UNAIDS? “HIV is the most serious epidemic in recent history. Beginning just 30 years ago, the speed at which the virus swept through the world was astonishing and the impact it has had, not only on people’s lives, but on whole economies is unprecedented for any disease. Perhaps what inspired me most to take action was the social impact that the disease was having and the need to respect the human rights of everyone touched by the epidemic. Someone had to stand up and act as a voice for the voiceless.” Share with us the biggest challenge… “The most vulnerable and marginalized people in society are also the most affected by HIV, but all too often they aren’t able to access the HIV services they need because of stigma and discrimination - people who use drugs, sex workers, men who have sex with men. Progress has been made in many countries but this is still a major challenge today. Also the vulnerability of women and girls to HIV. Gender-based violence and the status of women and girls in many countries is preventing them from accessing the services they need. Attitudes towards women need to change and this requires political will and leadership to ensure it happens. It is a slow process, but we are making headway and women are becoming more empowered to take control of their lives.” What do we need to know about AIDS? “It’s important to know that if people living with the virus have access to anti-retroviral treatment that they can live normal, healthy lives. HIV does not need to be a death sentence–it’s a disease which can be effectively managed with treatment.” How can women be empowered in the fight against AIDS? “Today, half of all people living with HIVare women. Every minute, one young woman is infected with HIV. This is un-acceptable. Only when we value a girl’s health and welfare as highly as a boy’s, only when we listen and act equally to women’s voices then can we have a chance at ending the AIDS epidemic. Women’s empowerment can only happen if
men change as well. As husbands and partners, brothers and sons, we are all part of the solution. We must build a world where women and men are equal, where all women and men have access to HIV prevention, treatment, care and support and where women and men can equally protect themselves from HIV.” Tell us your vision for the future of UNAIDS… “Truthfully? My vision for the future of UNAIDS is a day when we can close our doors and all go home. Why? Because my vision is for a world which doesn’t need an organization to stand up for the rights of people living with HIV or to ensure that people can protect themselves from the virus and have access treatment. My vision is for a future without AIDS, one where new generations grow up without HIV. But we still have a lot of work to do to get there.” What has been the proudest moment of your career? “When I recently shared the progress on the AIDS response with African heads of
UNAIDS/ED WRAY SIDIBÉ TOURED A NARCOTICS PRISON IN INDONESIA WHICH IS ONE OF 11 MODEL PRISONS IMPLEMENTING A COMPREHENSIVE AIDS PROGRAMME (ABOVE AND BELOW)
state. They were impressed and inspired that global solidarity in the AIDS response has averted 3.5 million deaths since 2001, and over eight million Africans are now on life-saving HIV treatment. When I think that we are on track to reach the first AIDS-free generation in 30 years, I amproud that we enabled millions of people to hope and live again.”
You have received many awards. Which means the most? “The award that was most special to me was the Emerging Leader Award from the UN Foundation in 2010. This was the first of its kind awarded to a United Nations representative, and this honor has continued to inspire me to push for action that will deliver concrete results for people.”
Do you have a quote that you live by? “My favorite quote is from my father who told me that, ‘If your efforts do not bring a smile to the faces of the people you aim to help, you need to reconsider your approach.’’ UNAIDS/ED WRAY
AGENTS OF CHANGE
GOING GREEN FOR GOOD Eco powerhouse LIVIA FIRTH, founder of the GREEN CARPET CHALLENGE, tells Carrie Buckle that ethics and glamour can go hand in hand
Thanks to this commitment to the cause, the GCC has been involved with high-
profile events such as the Golden Globes, the Met Ball and Cannes International Film Festival. “The GCC has done many red carpets and every one is full of suspense and thrills,” says Livia, 44, who somehow makes it look easy, when really it has taken years of working tirelessly and trying to convince the industry that her way is the right way. Highlights have included Meryl
Ball, both in 2012. The challenge is not limited to women - leading men who have rocked GCC designs on the red carpet include Michael Fassbender and Javier Bardem.
Expanding its reach from the red carpet, the GCC launched its brand mark on a collection of sustainable bags for Gucci in March this year. Other new projects include an Eco Age partnership with Net-APorter.com with a capsule collection featuring the designs of five British designers. Christopher Bailey, Victoria Beckham, Christopher Kane, Erdem, Roland Mouret, in line with GCC ethical benchmarking. Part of the proceeds will be donated to (RED), which focuses on eliminating mother-to-child transmission of HIV. In 2011, Livia, along with Annie Lennox, also launched The Circle initiative, a women’s group for Oxfam. This project has taken Livia, an Oxfam Global Ambassador, to countries such as Ethiopia, Kenya, BanON A TRIP WITH OXFAM, FIRTH VISITS gladesh and Zambia. A COMMUNITY IN ZAMBIA IN ORDER TO
SEARCH FOR SUSTAINABLE SOLUTIONS TO POVERTY IN THEIR REGION
Streep wearing a sustainable Lanvin dress to the Golden Globes and Cameron Diaz in shimmering Stella McCartney at the Met
ModaVIE I want to arrive at a day when all fashion will be ethical
Husband of 16 years Colin has been a tremendous support in Livia’s GCC eco endeavours. “He is the reason that I could start it in the first place,” says Livia, who
PHOTOS COURTESY OF LIVIA FIRTH
artin Luther King once said, “Our lives begin to end the day we become silent about things that matter” and it is this quote that drives Livia Firth every day. So strong is her belief that we can dress in a sustainable way, the former documentary producer lau-nched Eco Age brand consultancy with her brother Nicola Giuggioli in 2007. The Green Carpet Challenge was founded with journalist Lucy Siegle two years later. Persuading fashion’s biggest names including Tom Ford, Gucci and Lanvin to jump on board, Livia has been hailed as the ambassador of eco fashion in Hollywood. “Someone’s got to do the job,” smiles the Italian-born wife of actor Colin Firth. Celebrity recruits include Carey Mulligan, Lily Cole and Helena Bonham Carter. “I actually loved working with all of them and each one was a huge excitement,”she says of the stellar list of stars that GCC has worked with since it launched.
lives with Colin, their three children (as well as one cat and a goldfish) in London. “Without him, I would have not found myself on a red carpet for a start…” The sustainable approach to fashion extends to both Livia and Colin’s wardrobes, with them trying to invest in pieces that will stand the test of time. Judging by Livia’s success with GCC so far, there seems no doubt that she will continue to overhaul the future of fashion. What does sustainable fashion mean to you? “Produced with ethics and environmental care and also fashion which lasts forever, and will be in your wardrobe for years to come. Buy with purpose - this is what we used to do when I was growing up and before fast fashion was invented.”
We didn’t have a plan at the time and the process has been very organic for the first couple of years.” What GCC achievements so far are you most proud of? “Launching the GCC Brand Mark (GCC) in March has been a pretty amazing achievement. We have used it so far with Gucci on leather, launching their first ever zero deforestation certified leather handbag collection. With Chopard, we launched its journey to sustainable luxury with the first ‘Green Carpet Collection’ of high jewelry and philanthropic support of artisanal mining communities in Ecuador and Colom-
Tell us about your own style… “I have never been a fashionista or trendy person. I am pretty classic and wear a lot of black. On red carpets, I like ‘old Hollywood glamour’. My go-to brands are Stewart+ Brown for everyday cottons and sustainable cashmere. For cocktails and events, Henrietta Lud-gate, a British designer which is classic style with a twist. But there are so many ethical brands I love and I have discovered in the last few years.” Do you always try to buy ethical clothes? “Yes but I mix and match. If I find something from a ‘classic brand’ (such as Valentino or Dolce & Gabbana) that I know I will wear forever, then I buy it too. I like to buy few pieces but ones that I know will last and I can wear when I am 70 too. Ethical brands now are much more present on the market, both in shops around the world and online.”
How can women around the world be empowered through fashion? “As consumers, every day we have to feed ourselves and dress ourselves. If we do it taking into consideration the people who produced our clothes (and grew our food), then we feel empowered as we know we are respecting the other, recognizing the co-dependence. On the other side, we know that we can empower communities in developing countries and take them out of the circle of poverty where they are stuck if we make sure we pay them fairly and give them hands up rather than hands down. The Rana Plaza disaster in Bangladesh is the perfect example of this. I have been to Bangladesh and visited factories – do big fashion supermarkets really have to place orders for million gar-
F4D LUNCHEON IN NEW YORK IN 2012
“I want to arrive at a day when all fashion will be ethical”
What was the impetus for launching the Green Carpet Challenge? “When Colin received a Golden Globe nomination for Tom Ford’s A Single Man, British journalist Lucy Siegle challenged me to wear only eco fashion during that awards season. I said yes, forced her to do it with me, and we took it as it came…
(which in fact now are a small percentage of what we do). I mentioned the GCC brand mark and working deep in supply chain and you can have a look at our website www.eco-age.com under GCC and consultancy and you will see it’s a lot.”
bia. There are other pretty big projects in the pipeline, so I am very happy.” How does GCC’s reach now extend beyond the red carpet? “The work we do now at Eco Age, with the GCC, is much bigger than red carpets
FIRTH IN THE LIVIA FIRTH DESIGNS (LFD) LITTLE BLACK DRESS
ments at those lowest possible prices? There must be a different business model out there.” What is your vision for the future? “I want to arrive at a day when all fashion will be ethical and we will have to brand ‘unethical fashion’ all the rest! How does that sound as a plan?”
AGENTS OF CHANGE
SUCCESS STORY TINA BROWN, Daily Beast
Editor-in-Chief, chats with Carrie Buckle about her powerful WOMEN IN THE WORLD movement that is a growing global community
We wouldn’t expect any less from award-winning publishing luminary Brown who has had a glittering career in which she edited Tatler, Vanity Fair, The New Yorker, Talk magazine, Newsweek, and she is currently the Editor-in-Chief of The Daily Beast, which she founded in 2008. The New York-based British editor also published a biography of Princess Diana, The Diana Chronicles, in 2007, which was a New York Times bestseller. What is it that drives her? “I’m just an addict for stories,” says Brown, 59, who is married to Sir Harold Evans and has two children, George and Isabel. “When I hear someone’s story, I become immersed, I become involved, I want to learn more about it and I want to tell it. Stories are what really drive me.” 20
Where does your fearlessness come from? “You could call it fearlessness or you could call it recklessness! I’ve always had a passion around what I’m doing. I don’t really stop enough and I probably should a little more often.” Tell us your leading role models... “My mother [Bettina] is my biggest role model. She’s the biggest hero of my life. She was so brave and wonderful. I’m quite a big fan of Christine Lagarde who has been to our summit a couple of times. She’s such a woman of power, elegance and intelligence, and has maintained her femininity. She is a big role model.” What has been the secret to your success? “Oh gosh, I think I’m just curious. I have a very big curiosity about what other worlds and stories are like. I have a strong sense of story and this has been a big part of my career.” What was the inspiration behind Woman in the World? “As a journalist, I’m very passionate about narratives. I felt what was lacking in women’s content was the ability to understand and get into the heads and hearts of women from other cultures, who go through incredible obstacles and whose stories have such amazing power. It seemed to me that when I decided to launch it in 2009, American feminism had kind of lost its way and that there was not much interest in what is going on globally. I felt, and still feel, that we needed energy. There has been a kind of tipping point for global
PHOTOS COURTESY OF TINA BROWN
uman rights are women’s rights and women’s rights are human rights”, spoken by Hillary Clinton in Beijing in 1995 has become a slogan for women globally – and this idea drives Tina Brown’s pioneering work with her Woman in the World movement. Launched in March 2010, it is dedicated to advancing women and girls through stories and solutions. The annual summit has drawn audiences of 2,500 people and inspirational women speakers have included power players such as Oprah, Meryl Streep and Angelina Jolie, as well as grassroots activists such as Liberian peace campaigner Leymah Gbowee.
women, fueled by several things - social media, the internet, Hillary Clinton’s state department, and the new understanding that we have to invest in women now for reasons of economic growth. There’s a growing sense that women are half the sky and must be invested in or a country can’t meet it’s full potential. All those things have come together to form an excitement and energy in the global women’s movement and that’s why I wanted to prioritize Women in the World. What we do in our summit is a kind of theatrical journalism as I call it; it’s like live journalism but in a very intense way, strongly driven by video and stories. We stage it like a show, much different from any other kind of summit.” What have been the most memorable moments for you? “The first year, Leymah Gbowee from Liberia really electrocuted the whole house. She was so inspiring and genuine when she talked about having watched so many people killed in the Liberian civil war and deciding she wasn’t going to sit still anymore. She grew this incredible women’s peace movement that literally advanced on the capital and helped to change the course of Liberia. Afterwards I asked her if she could write a memoir for our Daily Beast print outlet. As she got on the plane to come over to promote the book, she won the Nobel Peace Prize which she shared with Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, the President of Liberia, so that was an incredible moment. Meryl Streep has been incredible. This last year she gave a tribute to great Irish peace activist Inez McCormack, which she did absolutely brilliantly. And Angelina Jolie was amazing when she introduced wonderful live footage from Malala the Pakistani young woman who braved the bullets from the Taliban. Hillary Clinton has come every year and she brings the house down every time. Last year it felt almost like the beginning of her 2016 campaign as she got all the women in the audience so revved up.”
leverage to get laws changed just as Leymah Gbowee did in Liberia has been helped by social media. For instance, with the Indian rape case in Delhi last December, the outrage at the young women who was raped on the bus with her boyfriend and later died became an enormous campaign where people came out on the streets demanding new laws to protect women. These protests have been an enormous help for women.” BROWN AND GUESTS AT 2013 WOMEN OF THE WORLD CONFERENCE
What advice do you give your daughter Isabel in terms of empowerment? “Well my daughter is 22 and she wants to do it all. She understands that working and being completely passionately fulfilled is very, very important. But she also understands how important family is and I am certainly not one to say that family is not a key factor in one’s happiness. I’ve been very lucky to have a husband who has really helped me, and who has really been my partner. I think it is much easier to succeed if you have a partner who really does support you. I guess one of the things that she has learnt is that when she gets married, she wants a guy who will really partner with her and not try to keep her down.” What have been the proudest moments of your career? “My proudest moments are all at Women in the World, bringing these incredible women out on stage, and I feel proud and pleased that I’ve been able to fill a theater of 2,500 people to listen to these stories and love them. I’ve also been very proud of editing the New Yorker, founding the Daily Beast, having a number one best-seller with Princess Diana, you know, I’ve been lucky to have some wonderful moments in my career.”
How has social media advanced women since you launched three years ago? “The advent of Twitter and social media THIS YEAR’S WOMEN OF THE WORLD have generally really helped to activate womCONFERENCE FEATURED GUEST SPEAKERS LIKE en. For instance, in Brazil where there is so much OPRAH WINFREY AND ANGELINA JOLIE domestic violence, there are mobile phone apps where you can directly call law enforcement from your phone. The What is next for Tina Brown? mobile phone in all these countries is I think making one of the “I think I’m reaching a point where I want to really develop great key advances for women because they can literally call for Women in the World and I’m going to spend a lot of time on that help much more readily. I think the ability to protest and use their in the future.” ModaVIE
AGENTS OF CHANGE
STYLISH AMBITION FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA,
hatever is worth doing is worth doing well”, is Folorunsho Alakija’s favorite qu ote. And the Nigerian born business woman has certainly lived her life by this philosophy, shining in every venture she has turned her hand to – from fashion to the oil industry to philanthropy. “I believe in excellence,” she says. Indeed, her inspirational story is one of creativity, spirit and sheer determination. Alakija is not only Nigeria’s richest woman, but also a style icon and dedicated philanthropist. After a career in banking, she decided to follow her creative calling and studied fashion design in London, graduating with a distinction. Soon after, she took a leap of faith and her label Supreme Stitches was born. “I wanted to own my personal business and I chose to use my creative abilities because I believe mankind excels more in their areas
of grace,” says Alakija, who lives with her husband of 36 years, Modupe Alakija, in Lagos. It was a winning formula (Supreme Stitches later became Rose of Sharon House of Fashion) and in 1986, she was named Best Designer in Nigeria.
ration, 70 miles offshore. After several years of research, in 1998, it was estimated that they were sitting on an estimated one billion barrels of oil - and this is where she earned the bulk of her fortune. It’s been an incredible journey that proves that determination and vision can lead to great achievements. What has been the toughest time in her career? “The biggest challenge I faced along the way was getting the oil exploration license,” says grandmother-ofone Alakija, who has four sons. As well as oil, her other business interests include a printing firm and an international real estate company.
“YOU HAVE TO WORK HARD TO ACHIEVE. CHARACTER IS IMPORTANT” Not one to rest on her laurels, Alakija, a shrewd businesswoman, ventured into the oil industry in the early 1990s. Despite knowing very little about this sphere, she broke through unchartered territories when in 1993, her company, Famfa Oil, was awarded an oil prospecting license. The Nigerian government allocated her a 617,000-acre block of land for explo-
A Christian since 1991, Alakija has always had an unwavering desire to give back. Her Rose of Sharon Foundation, launched five years ago, supports wid-
PHOTOS COURTESY OF FOLORUNSHO ALAKIJA
founder of THE ROSE OF SHARON FOUNDATION, talks with Carrie Buckle about innovating in business, fashion and philanthropy
ows and their families, as well as orphans, through educational programs and scholarships. “The foundation empowers widows with micro-credit loan facilities, and gives educational scholarships to their children and orphans up to the tertiary level,” explains Alakija, 62, who is the author of books including The Cry of Widows and Orphans and an autobiography Growing with the Hand That Gives the Rose. Thanks to a mix of hard work, tenacity and faith, Alakija is making her own unique mark on the world.
some of my favorite designers in no particular order are: Maufechi, ValerieDavid’s, EreDappa, Violet, Scissors and Iconic Invanity.”
What advice do you give your four sons on making a difference? “I have always told them and tried to make them understand that nothing comes on a platter of gold. You have to work hard to achieve. Character is important. They have to be polite and well-mannered at all times. I encourage them to be ambitious but content whilst impacting lives as they go along, bearing in mind most importantly, those who are in need.”
Tell us about your upbringing… “Memories of my upbringing include learning to work hard and all this I learnt in boarding ALAKIJA WORKS TO EMPOWER WOMEN AND CHILDREN THROUGH schools both in England THE ROSE OF SHARON FOUNDATION (ABOVE, BELOW) and Nigeria, and from home. This is what helps me today. I was constantly reminded that my education was my inheritance and that whatever seeds we sowed today are what we would reap. These words served as a constant reminder not to rest on my oars.” What is your first fashion memory? “My first memory of fashion, and this still lives with me today, is of myself in an open-lapel, gray pin-stripped dress with a white guipure lace camisole at the age of six.” How did studying in London influence you as a designer? “My time in England helped sharpen already existing skills and God-given talents. I found myself infusing Western styles with African fabrics and thus carved a niche for myself in the industry.” How would you describe your own style? “My style is very unique, beginning with my signature embroidered headgear to my very unique shoes and bags which I am a collector of. My colors are usually bright and I love fitted clothing.” Who are your favorite designers fashion designers and do you wear African labels? “I definitely do wear African labels and
kind actually now graduate from universities with good degrees too. Since launching the foundation, we have empowered 970 widows and 88 orphans.”
What is it like to be a woman in the oil business? “The only difference I see in being a woman in the oil business is that compared to running other businesses, there are not too many women in this industry. I believe it is a field where we should see more women being actively involved because there is no industry that is the exclusive preserve of men.” What has the Rose of Sharon Foundation achieved in the five years since it launched? “Our biggest achievements so far have been seeing the tears of these widows wiped away - giving them confidence and restoring their lost self-esteem and watchiing children who once had no hope of any
How can women be empowered through fashion? “The business of fashion is a serious one and not necessarily just for entertainment. It is a money-spinning industry and designers just need to know the areas that their creative abilities lie in for them to carve out a significant space for themselves, and to make their mark and impact lives. The industry is huge enough to accommodate both genders in so many areas - fashion illustration, pattern drafting, tailoring, fashion marketing etc.” As national president and lifelong trustee of the Fashion Designers Association of Nigeria, how have you promoted local style? “In this position I believe the Lord has enabled me to help to bring the fashion industry of Nigeria to the forefront. We have put Nigerian fashion on the world fashion map through international exhibitions and the organizing of fashion shows both home and abroad. We also encourage our people to wear locally made clothes and fabrics with pride.” What are your dreams for the future? “My dream both personally and professionally is to excel more in the things I do, remaining focused and not allowing distractions, no matter how attractive and appealing, deviate me from my God-given vision. So that at the end of the day my pat on the back will be from God when he looks at me and says ‘Well done! Good.’” ModaVIE
LIGHTING THE PATH TO A SUSTAINABLE FUTURE
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LUMI SOLAIR a duggal energy solutions company To find out more, contact Ryan@lumisolair.com or visit www.lumisolair.com
Copyright 2013 By MODU Architecture, PLLC 26 ModaVIE
DUGGALâ€™s FASHIONABLE GREENHOUSE Fashion 4 Development is proud to announce its selection of The Duggal Greenhouse as venue of choice for International Fashion, Arts and Culture in New York. F4D will produce high profile fashion shows, cultural events and exhibitions, to further its mission; bridging divides among countries and culture. The 35,000 sq. ft. Duggal Greenhouse serves as a model for green technologies, featuring spectacular Manhattan views, waterfront patio and accessibility by ground and water transportation.
JOIN US F4D PARTNERSHIP OPPORTUNITIES Fashion 4 Development offers many opportunities to partner, support and participate
FIRST LADIES ANNUAL LUNCHEON INDIVIDUAL AND PRIVATE SPONSORSHIPS OF HIGH-PROFILE AND CELEBRITY GUESTS
PRESIDENT’S CIRCLE STARTING AT $25,000, INCLUDING TAILORED BENEFITS TBD
LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN EXCLUSIVE MEN’S CLUB SUPPORTING F4D
SPOKESPERSON AS A CELEBRITY OR HIGH-PROFILE PERSONALITY, PARTNER WITH F4D
F4D FASHION WEEK 2014 IN NYC FEATURING FASHION, DESIGN AND TEXTILES FROM COUNTRIES AROUND THE WORLD
BECOME A F4D REGIONAL BRANCH FRANCHISE TO BECOME AN OFFICIAL BRANCH OF F4D AND GAIN ACCESS TO ESTABLISHED RESOURCES AND BRANDING
PHOTO COURTESY OF VLISCO TEXTILES
COMPANIES SUCH AS VLISCO ARE DEDICATED TO PRESERVING THE CULTURAL PRINTS OF AFRICA
THE WORK AND PASSION OF DESIGNERS SUPPORTING A NEW SOCIALLY-CONSCIOUS FASHION NARRATIVE ModaVIE
New York-based ANGEL CHANG unites high fashion with ancient Chinese craftsmanship in her ethical collections
believe fashion touches people on a very emotional level and this makes it a powerful vehicle for positive change,” says New York-based Angel Chang. Here is a designer who has managed to create a socially responsible brand that combines high fashion with time honored craftsmanship. After stints at Viktor & Rolf, Donna Karan, Marc Jacobs and Anna Sui, Angel branched out on her own. She launched Angel Chang in 2006 and then Atelier Angel Chang four years ago. The 33-year-old Chinese-American has become known for using fabrics made by indigenous Miao and Dong ethnicminorities in Guizhou province, China. This talent for fusing tradition with contemporary design has won her the prestigious Ecco Domani Fashion Foundation award, as well as Cartier Women’s Initiative Award. Her design aesthetic captures a balance between old and new – keeping silhouettes sharp while remaining true to natural materials.
Why is using all-natural traditional processes important to you? “The future of fabrics - and the future of fashion - lies in going back to all-natural traditional processes. The only way to move
What inspired your fall/ winter 2013 collection? “The collection was inspired by the region where it was made: the ethnic minorities of Guizhou province in China,their symbiotic relationship with nature, their shamanistic approach to life, and their simple-yet-sophisticated agrarian lifestyle.”
CHANG’S SS ‘14 COLLECTION CONTAINS GARMENTS WOVEN BY WOMEN IN CHINA PHOTOS BY JUSTIN JIN (RIGHT) AND STOCKTON JOHNSON (LEFT)
Which notable person would you like to dress? “The Dalai Lama. I would give him one of my yak-fiber scarves hand-woven with love by the Tibetan nomads in the Tibetan Highlands.”
Share with us your future hopes… “The local Chinese government officials have been very supportive of the project and visit my design studio often. They say that, if my project is successful, they can use it as a model for preserving craftsmanship in their own villages. So even though I am focused on Guizhou province right now, it has the potential for much greater impact.”
WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ
Tell us where your collections are produced… “The fabric for the clothes is all made in a cluster of villages of Guizhou province in the south of China. They are woven on traditional looms, powered by human hands. It is then sewn in Shanghai where the electricity is more dependable for the sewing machines. The yak-fiber scarves are all hand-woven by Tibetan nomads in northwest Gansu province.”
forward is to find more sustainable ways of producing clothing. For me, this means looking back at the pre-industrial era and studying how humans made clothing with -out harming the environment or themselves. I am exploring 3D printing and spidersilk, but approaching it in a more environmentally sustainable way, based on what I’ve learned from living with indigenous people.”
OUT OF AFRICA
MARY-ANN KAI KAI’S
Madam Wokie brings the traditional print power of Sierra Leone into the present day
WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ / PHOTOS COURTESY OF MADAM WOKIE AND MAMBU WOKIE
oming from a long line of strong, forward-thinking African women, the bar was raised high for MaryAnn Kai Kai from an early age. When she launched her label Madam Wokie in 2009, the name was inspired by her great-grand aunt. “ She was a Paramount Chief of Blama Massaquoi and met the queen in 1961. Queen Elizabeth gave her a crown!” says Mary-Ann. “I wanted to have the whole family history incorporated in the brand name.” Not only is Mary-Ann bringing heritage prints to modern life, she is employing tailors, weavers and dyers throughout Sierra Leone. The ethical brand produces its own cotton, placing emphasis on traditional techniques handed down through generations. MADAM WOKIE How does Sierra SS ’14 Leone inspire you? “It is very easy to be attracted and influenced by the energy, landscape and life there. This is reflected in our local and traditional prints and patterns that we weave. They are elegant, fun, lively, bold and intricate - just like the country and its people. Much of the time we live very simple lives here. But when Sierra Leoneans get ready to go to a party, it’s an occasion to turn heads and be seen!”
MARY-ANN KAI KAI CHANNELS HER SIERRA LEONE HERITAGE IN HER COLLECTIONS
How did fashion figure in your upbringing? “I grew up in a family of fashion enthusiasts. My maternal grandmother loved clothes so badly that she missed an international flight buying an outfit. My dad rocked his bell-bottoms with his afro… My mum loved visiting the tailors daily and took us, her kids, along. The stories are endless. But most of all, I grew up appreciating the art of African print and that has shaped the designer that I am.” When did you realize you wanted to be a fashion designer? “As a child I realized that my passion, and the air that I breathed, was fashion. My parents realized it early on. They tried as best as they could to discourage me from pursuing it because they wanted me to follow the family trend of being a lawyer or doctor. When they realized I was not wavering in my decision, they encouraged me to get a good degree to have something to fall back on. The rest is history.” How do you empower communities? “People in Sierra Leone just need the opportunity and they can empower themselves. There are women that I buy from who make gara tie-dye material and that work makes them the breadwinners in their homes. In Kenema I created a skills training program for ten victims of the war to weave kontri cloth - they had been displaced and lost their families. I have a similar project in Bo, under our crafts works organization, with unemployed youth who make eco-friendly straw bags. The success of the brand helps to create more opportunity for the community.”
MADAM WOKIE SS ’14
A Fine Art
From a small village in Malaysia to an illustrious career in New York City,
ZANG TOI has garnered a loyal following
While he certainly knows how to make a woman look, and feel, her most glamorous self, the des-
igner is also committed to making a difference. He has received various awards for his philanthropic efforts which have included supporting the Hemangioma Treatment Foundation, fundraising for the Lance Armstrong Foundation (now the Livestrong Foundation) and designing a dress for Patti LaBelle for The Heart Truth’s Red Dress Collection fashion show, to raise awareness about women and heart disease.
Looking ahead to this season, the fall/winter 2013 ready-towear collection of House of Toi offers a modern take on imperial Russia. He took inspiration from the opulent Peterhof Palace in Saint Petersburg, with rich hues of amber, mahogany and jet, as well as jewel tones – with plenty of gold accents. The collection features intricate gowns and separates, in sumptuous materials, in signature ZANG TOI’S MALAYSIAN UPBRINGING Zang Toi style. INFLUENCES AND INSPIRES HIS DESIGNS
ZANG TOI FW ‘13
WORDS BY CARRIE BUCKLE / PHOTOS COURTESY OF ZANG TOI
nown for his luxurious, detailed designs, Malaysian-born Zang Toi has carved out a niche as a go-to designer for high society and celebrities. In his stellar 24 -year career, he has dressed everyone from Hollywood stars Sharon Stone, Elizabeth Taylor and Eva Longoria, to businesswomen such as Melinda Gates. In honor of his achievements, in June this year he was conferred the title of ‘Datuk’ by the King of Malaysia, Yang di-Pertuan Agong Abdul Halim Mu’adzam Shah.This was a proud moment for the 52 -year-old designer who came from humble beginnings. He grew up in a small village in Kelantan, Malaysia, the youngest of seven children of a grocer. Zang moved to New York at 20 where he studied at Parsons School of Design, before opening his House of Toi atelier in 1989. His talent was spotted early on and the following year he won the Mouton Cadet Young Designer of the Year Award. Since then, he has continued to gather a loyal following around the world and his elegant, feminine designs can often be seen on the red carpet.
Empowering women in remote communities is close to Bangladeshi-born TANZILA RAB’S heart
very time you purchase a piece of Tanzila Rab’s handmade jewelry, you know that you are giving craftspeople worldwide a chance to become economically independent. The financial advisor turned jewelry designer is passionate about empowering communities to raise their standard of living, especially in Asian countries such as India, Bangladesh, Sri Lanka and Thailand. Tanzila, 31, launched Vogue Boutique Jewelry in Washington D.C. in 2010 and sells online (vogueboutiquejewelry.com) and at international trunk shows. The Bangladeshi-born creative favors colored gemstones, gold tones and bold designs. All her pieces are ethically produced by mostly women in remote villages, in accordance with the United Nations women’s empowerment principles.
tured products, so I’m trying to promote handmade pieces. Even though it’s slightly more expensive, the quality of the pieces is truly outstanding.” Where do you find inspiration for your statement jewelry? “I love to travel to exotic destinations. It allows me to experience other cultures and I get inspired by their lifestyle, clothes, art, architecture and local jewelry… It really is the best part of being a designer. I am intrigued by creativity and take lots of photos.”
Fire Goddess Cuff
When did you become interested in jewelry? “Growing up in Asia, jewelry and art are a very big part of our culture. My seventh grade art teacher was a big influence in developing my creativity. Since then, it has been my dream to have my own jewelry line.”
WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ / PHOTOS COURTESY OF TANZILA RAB
Gold Chain Earrings
Who would you love to see wearing your jewelry? “Oprah Winfrey and Queen Rania of Jordan. Both these women are glamorous yet elegant, strong and successful. They are driving social change to make this world a better place for so many women and children. They inspire countless people all around the world and I find them truly amazing.”
How did you transition from numbers to jewels? “It was rather liberating. As much as I loved the financial world, the long hours didn’t allow quality time with my family. Leaving it all behind to do what I love was wonderful.” Tell us how you choose which craftspeople to work with… “It takes months of communication back and forth, sort of like a casual interview process. Once I know the level of their skill set, I give them designs that they can make best. It’s hard for craftspeople in remote villages to compete with mass-manufac-
How does your Bangladeshi heritage influence your work? “It has a huge influence on my jewelry line. People from my culture enjoy over-the-top opulence and their motto is ‘the bigger the better’. That’s probably why most of my jewelry is statement pieces - big, bold and fabulous.”
Auburn Dragon Earrings
What would you still like to achieve? “I want prominent stores to carry my brand. I would also love to branch out and work with other parts of the world as well. Networking, collaborating and growing globally is my future vision.”
From Indonesia to New York, ecological couturier AUGUSTE SOESASTRO is changing the way we think about clothing
Where did you grow up? “I had a nomadic childhood traveling from Maastricht in the Netherlands to New York to Canberra in Australia to Paris and Jakarta in Indonesia.”
Almost three years ago, I opened an atelier in Jakarta, with the same equity labor standards we had in New York.” Tell us what is unique about your designs… “Apart from being the first ecological couture label (I once made an entirely biodegradable couture collection), I have pieces that are constructed from single panel patterns which still mold on the body and proper jackets constructed from only one yard of fabric.” Where do you find inspiration? “It could be from anywhere, probably something visual, but the best ones are mostly ideas and concepts which inspire and push me to be creative.” How is your own culture reflected in your designs? “I’m proud of my Indonesian cultural heritage, particularly the arts, traditions and spirituality which are unique and unparalleled to anywhere else on the planet.” If you could dress any notable person, who would it be? “Cate Blanchett, Tilda Swinton and Annie Lennox. They all have three things in common; elegance, talent and intelligence; qualities which are most important to me.”
What has been the proudest What is your first moment in your career? SOESASTRO’S RECENT LINE IS INSPIRED BY THE RICHNESS OF INDONESIA AND THE TRADITIONS fashion memory? “Most of my favorite moments are not on stage, “I had a very chic grandmoth- OF EASTERN PHILOSOPHY rather in the work place or my own studio, when er who was always very well I discovered something new or solved a seemingly groomed. She had amazing taste; everything she chose, down to impossible problem. Mostly, I am the only one present and I am the last detail was deliberate.” my toughest critic.” What haute couture houses did you train at? “I received the best guidance at Ralph Rucci in New York – he is the only American to be granted haute couture status by the Chambre Syndicale de la Haute Couture.” Where are your designs made? “Initially everything was made in New York, out of my apartment. 34
What are your hopes for your work? “I hope my clothing line will be fully ecological, each item with a breakdown of where everything was made, where raw materials were sourced and knowing that every single component was environmentally responsible. Above all, to change the way people approached consumerism and to be more critical about what they buy and wear.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF AUGUSTE SOESASTRO
marriage of Parisian haute couture techniques with Eastern principles of harmony and balance forms the essence of Auguste Soesastro’s work. The designer studied at the rigorous Ecole de la Chambre Syndicale de la Couture in Paris before moving to New York, where he trained with Ralph Rucci, the only American designer to be granted haute couture status. In 2008, Soesastro launched his label KRATON (Javanese for royal palace), inspired by Indonesian heritage and Eastern principles, all with a contemporary sensibility. Fittingly the 32-year-old’s elegant collections are produced at both his atelier in New York and in Jakarta – and a key part of this is that all workmanship and sourcing follows ethical and environmentally-responsible practices, with meticulous haute couture finishing. Soesastro’s designs are beautiful on the inside as well as the outside.
The heritage of the Philippines is integral to the artistry of ALFONSO GUINO-O
WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ / PHOTOS BY PAUL BORROMEO / MODEL KARINA CABILING (LEFT)
ith his background as a dancer traveling the globe, Alfonso Guino-o’s designs capture the theater of the stage. Since the 1950s when he launched his fashion house in Davao City in the Philippines, he has been lauded for his high-end garments which honor traditional Filipino culture by giving nativefabrics and intricate detailing a modern twist. The designer known as Tito Boy has shown his innovative collections on countless international runways and been recognized with many accolades. In 2004, Alfonso received the prestigious Datu Bago Award for using indigenous natural fabrics hand-woven by the Lumad tribes of Mindanao. Now 79, the former Bayanihan dancer is still wowing his fans with his collections. When did you fall in love with fashion? “When I was 12 and my mom was sewing wedding gowns. I always loved tohelp her and that’s probably the moment when I realized I love fashion.” What is your favorite part of being a designer? “Each time I pick up my pen and start sketching my designs.” GUINO-O INCLUDES THE TEXTILES OF INDIGENOUS ARTISANS IN HIS DESIGNS
You have used indigenous fabrics weaved by Filipino tribals. What was the impetus? “Watching Filipino Lumads weaving the fabrics by hand inspired my own creativity and gave me the idea of translating their traditional work of art into the modern world of fashion.” How do you balance preserving national heritage with modern elements? “Traditional pieces are used as an accent to contemporary concepts. I think of it as ‘Filipino tribal legacy for the millennium trends in fashion’.” You were a Bayanihan dancer in your twenties. How is this reflected in your designs? “I use those fond memories as inspiration and sometimes wish I could turn back the clock.” A career highlight was showcasing your creations at the Philippine Consulate in New York in June… “I’m very grateful and thankful to Madame Fe Cabactulan [wife of Philippine Ambassador to United Nations).” GUINO-O’S EXPERIENCE AS A DANCER CLEARLY INFORMS IS VIBRANT FASHION AESTHETIC (ABOVE/LEFT)
How do you see your work developing? “A lot of my clients and friends have told me that they want to wear my creations, but also to own them as museum pieces. That’s how I see the future of my collections.”
East meetsWest For Kuwaiti designer
MONTAHA ALAJEEL, her global aesthetic is rooted in the elegance of the Arab woman
When did you become interested in fashion? “I had the creative bug from the age of three when I started accessorizing my own outfits.” How does your work reflect the Arab woman? “My aim is to define global elegance, but I still enjoy representing Kuwait through fashion. Creative work is what I do best and that’s how I try to be the best ambassador for Arab women through my work as a fashion designer.”
MONTAHA’S 2013 UN FASHION SHOW EXHIBITED HER PASSION FOR INTERNATIONAL RELATIONS AND COUTURE
How do you try to empower women of the Middle East? “Through my designs, but I am also working on establishing an academy for talented girls in the fields of art and design.” Tell us what you enjoy most about being a designer… “The happiest moment of my work as a designer is when I deliver a new creation to one of my customers. It’s also amazing to see a woman in one of my designs.” What is your recipe for success? “The secret is a cohesion of skilled craftsmanship and high-quality fabrics from all around the world.” What was the concept for your recent show at the United Nations? “Creating a mixture between Eastern and Western taste, but also combining tradition and modernity into unique forms.” Where do you see your brand in ten years? “I would love to establish my brand as a global fashion house and spread my creativity throughout the world.” WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ / PHOTOS BY JAMES HERCULE
rowing up in Kuwait, Montaha Alajeel was inspired by the heritage of the Arabian peninsula blended with the modern Western spirit from an early age. Today this fusion provides the starting point for the striking aesthetic of Montaha Couture. Since opening her first boutique in Kuwait in 2003, her designs have attracted a loyal following in the region. With a contemporary take on traditional silhouettes, Montaha has gone onto introduce Far Eastern elements into her aesthetic. As well as abayas, her collections include kaftans, ready-to-wear and evening dresses. She has shown at Dubai Fashion Week and in May this year at a ceremony at the United Nations headquarters in New York to honor the 50th anniversary of Kuwait’s accession to United Nations.
Swiss designer GIOVANNI LO PRESTI unites his theatrical flair with his passion for philanthropy
B WORDS BY DINO BONAČIĆ / PHOTOS COURTESY OF GIOVANNI LO PRESTI
eing raised by parents who were ballroom dancers left an indelible mark on Giovanni Lo Presti, and you can see this influence in his work. “I was inspired by the wonderful costumes they wore,” says the Swiss-born designer who is also a stylist and costume designer. He launched his fashion label in 2004 and has since forged a theatrical aesthetic that unites Italian flair with Swiss luxury. The 30-year-old also regularly collaborates with brands such as suchas Sw-arovski, Moët & Chandon, Polo Ralph Lauren and L’Oréal. Just as important to Lo Presti is giving back and his philanthropic projects include helping to create employment opportunities in Bosnia and Cyprus by producing some of his collections there – next on the list will be shoes and accessories made in Portugal from 2014. What’s more, he is working on fashion education projects with children from Switzerland, the Faro Foundation in Colombia and the Ashah Orphanage in Nepal.
life celebration. I am involved in many different projects, which includes the Ashah Orphanage in Nepal and the Faro Foundation in Colombia. I just want to share what life offers me and to help those who need help. If I can achieve this through my skills, then I am the luckiest person in the world.” Which celebrity would you like to see your clothes on? “My mother already wears my designs and is a great inspiration. Aren’t moms the biggest celebrities of our lives? I would also be honored and proud to see my clothes on Michelle Obama. I respect and admire her work and devotion to the many causes she champions.”
LO PRESTI ‘S WORK WAS SHOWCASED AT THE 2012 F4D FIRST LADIES LUNCHEON
When did you realize you wanted to work in fashion? “When I was very young, my grandmother was a huge influence on me. I watched her sew on her Bernina machine and helped her during the weekends. This was when I decided to be a fashion designer.” Where does your philanthropic side stem from? “I grew up in a modest family; we always share everything we have. My Sicilian background is also part of it. We always support each other. When anyone visits our home, we offer everything we have! From hospitality to the best meal we can prepare, sharing is like a
Where do you see yourself and your brand in a few years? “I wish to continue to grow personally and professionally and to broaden my horizons. Currently, I’m working on several projects right now, including a fashion show in Shanghai and the opening of some in-store shops with some luxury department stores in China. Hopefully I will be able to open some stores in some of the best fashion capitals of the world. This will allow me to take my business to the next level and raise enough money to sustain my charity projects.”
PHOTO COURTESY OF VLISCO
PHOTO COURTESY OF VLISCO
TO LEARN MORE ABOUT OUR WORK WITH GLOBAL DESIGNERS, VISIT WWW.FASHION4DEVELOPMENT.COM
F4D’S GLOBAL INITIATIVES KEY:
Saudi-based ART OF HERITAGE group uses the past to create designs that capture today’s modern woman
WORDS BY CARRIE BUCKLE / PHOTOS COURTESY OF ART OF HERITAGE
orking away in their busy atelier in Riyadh, the Art of Heritage designers have a clear vision – to turn the world’s oldest fashions into a modern style statement that will support disabled and poor women. The private retail group was launched in 2009, but is rooted in Saudi Arabia’s largest and oldest women’s charity, Al Nahda, which has been supporting women’s causes for over 50 years. Working with emerging designers from the region, the group’s attention to detail is bar none. Today this amazing group of talented women, which includes Sua’ad al Yami and Rehnaz Minto, is dedicated to preserving the best of the past, yet with an eye on the future. Their creations range from couture to prêt-à-porter, all of which are based on their unique collectionof antique Saudi dresses, jewelry and accessories. Re-created in their Riyadh workshops, the old becomes a new heirloom – astimeless as they were centuries ago. Based on authentic designs, exceptional embroidery is applied on superb natural cloth and colors bring back to life the splendor of the past in a new and dramatic way. Such is the attention to detail on every handmade dress, no two are ever the same. This season, Art of Heritage have collaborated on a collection of dresses with esteemed Lebanese designer Rabih Kayrouz, who previously worked at Chanel and Dior. Maison Rabih Kayrouz opened in Paris in 2009 and that same year, the Chambre Syndicale de la Couture Parisienne invited him to participate in the official calendar of couture fashion shows. He later joined the ready-to-wear calendar,
debuting in Paris in March, 2012. He continues to apply rigorous haute-couture style codes to his ready-to-wear collections, and he has a distinctive ease when it comes to couture. While the Rabih Kayrouz label is exclusive to the world’s most prestigious boutiques and department stores, the designer’s collaboration with La Redoute in 2012 confirmed his widespread appeal. Kayrouz’s eagerly awaited designs for Art of Heritage have been hailed a resounding success this season. With fine tailoring and rich details, the breathtaking dresses bring a modern-day twist to timeless Middle Eastern elegance. Indeed they fit perfectly with the integrity of the Saudi group. What’s more, Kayrouz is now selling Art of Heritage designs in Paris. The next stop in the group’s global expansion is Blo-omingdale’s in New York, which will soon be stocking beautifully-made Art of Heritage cashmere scarves. Stylish and everlasting, the designs are proof positive that classics never get old.
DESIGNER RABIH KAYROUZ (ABOVE) IS PASSIONATE ABOUT HOW SAUDI CRAFTSMANSHIP ENRICHES A WOMAN’S WARDROBE, AND HIS WORK INCLUDES EXQUISITE EMBROIDERY
millions of women and children die in
pregnancy, childbirth and from preventable disease. These are not statistics. They are people with names and faces.
These deaths can and must be stopped. We know what works. Through the Every Woman Every Child effort, the United Nations and its partners are working to save the lives of 16 million women and children by 2015.
Together we can empower women around the world to be healthy and safe and to protect their children from preventable illness. ModaVIE
PHOTO COURTESY OF INDONESIAN TENUN
ACTION THE INNOVATORS DOING THEIR PART TO CREATE A MORE PEACEFUL, NURTURING AND BEAUTIFUL WORLD
TIME FOR ACTION
LEAGUE OF GENTLEMEN POLO RALPH LAUREN model CHRIS COLLINS talks with Carrie Buckle about his commitment to using his profile in a positive way
fter Hurricane Katrina, Chris Collins traveled to New Orleans to re-build the homes of those who had lost everything and this moving experience changed his outlook forever. “The faces of the families we were helping is something that I will never forget,” says the New York-based model of the initiative by nonprofit Habitat for Humanity. “At that moment, I saw the world through different eyes. I was then motivated to live my life simply through acts of kindness and love.”That was seven years ago and since then the Polo Ralph Lauren model has been striving to use his profile to make a difference – from volunteering as a board member for non-profit foundation Model Home Project to giving talks to troubled teens at schools in his hometown in New Jersey.
distinguished men who will be part of a private sector global forum that will drive sustainable change in support of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. They will do this by harnessing the power of the fashion, beauty, entertainment, philanthropic and business industries, and taking part in think tank discussions, social media campaigns and an annual League of Gentlemen dinner in New York. To kick off the global awareness campaign, there will
What was the impetus for launching League of Gentlmen? “After being introduced to Evie Evangelou, President of Fashion 4 Development, I knew I wanted to part of her movement of promoting women’s empowerment, sustainable living, and to supporting the UN Millennium initiatives. During our first meeting, we brainstormed on how I could be involved with her vision for F4D. We thought I should stand as the man to gather the most influential and powerful men around the world to be the pillars of chivalry to support Evie in her efforts. And that night, the League of Gentlemen was born.”
“It is important to give back, to challenge, to question, and stand up for things you believe in”
The 38-year-old’s latest mission is the League of Gentleman, launched in partnership with Fashion 4 Development. Led by Collins, the face of Polo Ralph Lauren for the past 17 years, it is an exclusive group of 42
be a special focus on water and sanitation. “Those of us that have proper sanitation don’t recognize what a luxury it is to have access to it,” explains Collins, whose exotic looks can be attributed to his American Indian heritage from the Blackfoot tribe. “Our goal is to bring this to the forefront and to make it okay to talk about. We’re hoping to generate innovative ideas and solutions to improve sanitation globally.”
What is your goal for this new global awareness platform? “The vision for the League of Gentleman is to have an allegiance of men from all different cultures coming together to help support F4D and the UN Millennium Goals. Clean water, proper sanitation, sustainable living, to name a few. The men that are chosen to be in the league can then extrapolate and create their own leagues in their respective countries, so our presence can grow exponentially globally.”
Can you tell us more about why you are taking on the world’s sanitation issues? “Over 2.5 billion people around the world lack access to proper sanitation and 11 per cent of child deaths around the world are attributed to diarrheal disease, from lack of clean water, and lack of hygiene from this lack of sanitation. Sanitation is one of those topics that’s uncomfortable to talk about it, yet it is so important in saving the lives of children around the world.” How important is it to you to give back? “As I get older, I do realize that it is important to give back, to challenge, to question, and stand up for things you believe in, no matter what you do or who you are. It just so happens that I’ve been blessed with a platform to be able to do this from a position of recognizability. And I intend to use it with as loud a voice as I can.”
PHOTOS COURTESY OF MAJOR MODELS
Tell us about how you got into modeling… “I was discovered at the age of 21, shortly before graduating from college. I was a pre-med major and had planned to take a year off school before applying to medical school. In that year, I had been discovered by an agent in my native New Jersey. Didn’t know much about the business, my head had always been wrapped in books. But I said, why not, it’s only for a year, let’s see where this fork in the road takes me. And 17 years later, here I am. I’ve had a very blessed career.” How did working with Polo Ralph Lauren come about? “Shortly after agreeing to work the agent that discovered me, I was sent to meet photographic icon Bruce Weber. He thought I’d be great for the Ralph Lauren brand and I guess he was right. Never could I have imagined that that year off from medical school would’ve
turned into such an incredible. One that would make me a brand ambassador for one of the most prestigious fashion companies in the world.”
iously in representing myself, as a man of color my culture, and my Ralph Lauren family, with the upmost dignity and respect.”
What is your proudest achievement during your career? “I guess it would be being able to maintain such an incredible relationship with such a globally powerful company for all these years. To be recognized by my peers and people all around the world as a face of a brand is a very humbling feeling. It makes me very proud to be part of the Ralph Lauren brand. I take my job very ser-
Share with us what it was like to work with non-profit foundation Model Home Project to re-build a home for a family in New Orleans… “After the devastating affects of Hurricane Katrina in 2005, I had an incredible opportunity with the support of Katia Sherman, president of Major Model Management to work with Habitat for Humanity to help build homes for families who lost their homes in the storm. Wo rds can’t describe the feeling of being able to participate such a project.”
You also give talks to troubled teens at school in your hometown in New Jersey? “It is very important to me to give back to the city of Paterson, where I’m from. Paterson is a city riddled with crime and poverty, but I am very proud of the city that raised me. I was fortunate enough to have a village of support from my family, COLLINS SEEKS TO USE HIS PLATFORM WITH LEAGUE OF teachers, coaches and peGENTLEMEN TO PURSUE LASTING CHANGE IN THE WORLD ers. So in any way I can, I would love to be that support for the children of my city. My family is full of teachers for the Paterson Board of Education, so I take as many opportunities as I can to promote that education as the most powerful weapon that any of them will ever have, not guns.” UNAIDS/ED WRAY
What are your hopes for the future? “My hope is to use whatever visibility or platform that I have to promote health and wellness around the world. Both through personal efforts and with the creation of the League of Gentlemen. We must all do our part.”
Doing Good, LOOKING GOOD ERIK RASMUSSEN’S Sustainia is creating a new fashion narrative, from industry to everyday life has to the public, it can change behavior and values more effectively than other sectors. The fashion sector is an obvious partner for Sustainia as we are always looking to identify role models that can lead the way in the sustainable transition.” The Sustainia Sector Guide to Fashion aims to create a platform where stakeholders discuss how to meet common challenges and build a sustainable business model. Luckily, there is no longer debate about the need for a sustainable transition – the question is how? How do we address problems such as resource scarcity, rising labor and fuel costs, and pollution due to unsustainable transportation? How do we develop a holistic approach to sustainability, where stakeholders see themselves as part of a bigger whole? And how do we communicate this transition and open up a closed industry scared of criticism?
Today’s fashion sector is highly fragmentmented. Designers, manufacturers, retailers and consumers face common challenges, but they are developing independent solutions and only talking to their ‘own’ people. Sustainability has climbed on the agenda in the fashion industry – more brands are aware of the risks of continuing to do business as usual and At the core of Sustainia is a there is rising awareness among consumers. desire to inspire change by Yet the dots still need to be connected and establishing best case examPROMOTES SUSTAINABLE LIVING IN THE HEALTH, it is important to realize that using or- SUSTAINIA ples within sustainability. Its EDUCATION, AND FASHION ARENAS ganic cotton in the design process does not Sector Guide to Fashion enmake a sustainable garment – the whole courages the industry’s green value chain needs a makeover.“As with many other sectors, front runners to share their knowledge and together create new fashion is struggling to address the sustainability challenge, but standards across the value chain. By identifying readily available this is also a huge opportunity for them,” says Erik Rasmussen, solutions within sectors including fashion, but also founder of Sustainia and independent Scandinavian think tank homes, health and transportation, Sustainia seeks Monday Morning. “Because of the wide outreach that fashion to build a sustainable tomorrow.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF SUSTAINIA
hen you buy clothing, the process of its production is unclear. From being a cotton ball in a field to becoming some-one’s favorite t-shirt, today’s clothing production goes through many processes that are unsustainable. Rather than focus on one component, Sustainia’s ambition is to create a coherent and sustainable value chain across the fashion industry. The platform unites companies, non-governmental organizanizations and thought leaders to address a tangible approach to sustainability.
TIME FOR ACTION
WOMEN 4 EMPOWERMENT is unleashing the potential of women and girls globally
WORDS BY CARRIE BUCKLE; SEE WWW.WOMEN4EMPOWERMENT.ORG FOR MORE DETAILS
aila Chowdhury wants to empower and energize women to transform our world. Along with her daughter Tanzila Rab and family friend Samina Chowdhury, she launched USbased non-profit Women 4 Empowerment in December 2012. “The main focus is to create awareness and a positive network to stop violence against women and girls,” says Bangladeshi-born entrepreneur and philanthropist Naila, who lives in Maryland in the US and whose TeleConsult Group empowers women through technology. “Through W4E, we want to inspire women and girls to lead, create better future, and transform our world.” Based upon the United Nations Women’s Empowerment Principles, the aim of W4E is to bring about economic development and positive social change. In less than a year, the initiative is already making a positive difference. What was the impetus for founding Women 4 Empowerment? “It all started over a deep discussion with Evie Evangelou, who is now our goodwill ambassador. As the founder of an acid survivor’s helpline project in Bangladesh, I feel strongly about looking at the bigger picture in terms of empowering displaced women and girls in society. I want to increase access to quality healthcare and other resources, so that woman and girls can enjoy long-term prosperity and a safer environment.”
Tell us more about the plight of acid burn victims in Bangladesh… “Since 1999, Bangladesh has had more than 3,000 reported cases of acid attacks. This is the highest incidence rate in the world. This crime is most frequently targeted against women, often out of jealousy or because they have refused the advances of a man. They have very little chance of finding work, so we decided to support them with free technology training. They are referred to us by the Acid Survivors Foundation in Bangladesh.”
W4E CHAIR CHOWDHURY VISITS WITH FORMER US PRESIDENT BILL CLINTON (ABOVE). ACID BURN VICTIM IN BANGLADESH, EMPOWERED IN THE WORKPLACE THANKS TO W4E (BELOW)
In what way are you empowering women economically? “We are creating employment in collaboration with TeleConsult Group in Bangladesh. This is an organization that develops skills and creates job opportunities for acid survivors, under privileged women and victims of domestic violence. The focus is on empowering them economically. We have managed to raise their earnings from an average of $48 per month to $200 per month. Since 2008, 1000 women including 50 battered women and 35 acid survivors have been trained through the helpline.” How are you helping displaced garment workers in Bangladesh? “Our new venture, Shadhin, launched in Bangladesh in July 2013. With the support of Bangladeshi designer Tootli Rahman, we create employment for displaced garment workers, battered women and if scope arises, acid survivors as well. We are making hand-embroidered muslin and silk stoles and scarves. The project is in its infancy - we have around 25 workers - but we aim to hire more than 100 when it takes off. We want to bring about a long-term solution to the many challenges facing the fashion industry in Bangladesh.”
Debbie Levin and the EMA board of directors are so happy to congratulate our dear friend Livia Firth on her well deserved honor. We applaud Evie Evangelou for her incredible innovative efforts with Fashion 4 Development merging the world of fashion with sustainability. Sending love and apprection.
For more information about EMA and the 23rd Annual Environmental Media Awards taking place Saturday, October 19, 2013 please go to: www.cma-online.org
TIME FOR ACTION
A NEW AFRICA Through Advanced Development for Africa, COUMBA TOURÉ is driving change across the continent
he visionary and voice behind Advanced Development for Africa (ADA), Coumba Touré has dedicated her life’s passion to improving the health of women and children. The Mali native’s career includes working for 13 years at the World Health Organization where she developed and implemented the African AIDS Vaccine Program. “There are still millions of women who deserve to have access to a better healthcare system, and we can achieve that together,” says Touré, who lives in Geneva with her husband and four children.
offered by technology, ADA aims to accelerate the implementation of projects by bringing in partners that provide electronic health (eHealth) and mobile health (mHealth) tools. “ADA has been able to bring the key ingredients together, building strong partnerships with public and private sector to support projects designed to improve maternal and child health,” says Touré.
PHOTOS COURTESY OF COUMBA TOURÉ
The organization (www.adaorganization.org) also drives pubIn 2008, Touré established ADA, a pan-Aflic-private partnerships and rican non-profit organization that focuses on conferences that bring together sustainable development projects in Africa. influential leaders who can conWith the Millennium Development Goals tribute to the discussions, forming the backbone of its mission, it enknowledge-sharing sessions and deavors to address an important issue in Af- TOURÉ HAS DEDICATED HER LIFE TO WOMEN’S funding opportunities. “Our EMPOWERMENT, EDUCATION, AND TRAINING rica – a lack of support for women. By focusing vision for the future is to reach on empowerment, ADA strives to solve many a target of zero mothers dying socio-economic problems, but also improve healthcare of preventable diseases,” says Touré, who runs educaacross the continent. tional workshops on gender, race, economic equity and HIV/AIDS. “What truly drives me is giving hope to those “Technology plays a key component of any development in need and especially seeing the smiles on their faces when effort and ADA’s mission aims to empower African women they are empowered to improve their own lives.” Through through the creative use of information and communicaTouré’s determination, a new course is being charted for tions technologies,” says Touré, 59, who has an unrelenting growth in various regions of Africa for women and children passion for inspiring social change. Using opportunities alike – her way.
“What truly drives me is giving hope to those in need” -COUMBA TOURÉ ModaVIE
SPECIAL THANKS TO
REBECCA AFFOLDER SUSAN IAMONAMA AISI JEFFREY AND LAURA ANSELMI KEITA AMALLE NIKISHA ALCINDOR STEPHANIE ALLEN ROBERTA ANNAN SILVA BONACITO KRISTIN BOLLIER CARRIE BUCKLE BISILA BOKOKO JILL BUCHANAN H.E. ANTONIO BERNADINI JEANINE BALLONE ALAN CAPPER JAN CRAWFORD RAY CHAMBERS FRANCESCO CARROZZINI NAILA CHOWDHURY KELLY DARR AMIR & TAS DOSSAL BALDEV DUGGAL ARIFALDI DASRIL MONICA ELIAS KAREN GIBERSON KYLE GIBSON MIKHAIL GURFINKEL KATHY HAMM MARGARET HAYES NICOLLA HEWITT SHAH HAQ FAIZUN KAMAL
DONIA KHALIFA SILVIA KIOUZELLIS FILIPPO LAPIDES MARY LOU LUTHER SHIRLEY MADHERE LIANA MAKKOS ALEX MILLER MARGARITA MARTINEZ NADINE NAJJAR PATRICIA OPPENHEIMER ROBERT C. ORR LAVELLE OLEXA DIANA MAWARSARI PERCAY CECILIA PICCIONI ELEONORA QUIZMOLLI H.E. CESARE RAGAGLINI FE REMEDIOS TANZILA RAB TERRENCE ROMNEY MARY SACK CATHERINE SCHREIBER CASSANDRA SEIDENFELD KRISTIN SIBILA KOULA SOPHIANOU RENEE SMITH KEN STOLLS TIFFANY SHIPP SUSIE TAYLOR KATIA SHERMAN JI YEONG SUL THE RUKH FAMILY FOUNDATION INC.
FIRST LADIES LIASON
EVENT AND FASHION PRODUCTION
ELEONORA QUIZMOLLI, SENSATION OF HOUSE
SHOW DIRECTOR AND VIDEO PRODUCER
MEDIA STRATEGY AND CONTENT PRODUCTION VIDEOGRAPHER / EDITOR MODELS HAIR
ERIN AND NATALIE EDRI MAKEUP
EXHIBIT DISPLAYS SET DESIGN
BOBBI BROWN LIFESTYLE TRIMCO
IRINA MASLIJ INTERIORS
MODAVIE EDITOR-IN-CHIEF MODAVIE ART DIRECTOR
MODAVIE PRINTING F4D SHOPPE DIRECTOR
SPECIAL THANKS TO OUR PARTNERS AND SPONSERS
ERAN & NATALIE EDRI Hair & MUA
SWISS CHALET CONSTRUCTIONS
PHOTO COURTESY OF VLISCO
JUST THE BEGINNING Stay tuned for new issues featuring fashion, art and stories of empowerment from across the globe
THIS IS F4D REAL TIME Leading the way in new innovations is at the core of Fashion 4 Development. Now the global initiative has launched F4D TV and Media Group. The new digital media platform will profile the efforts of F4D and those engaged in strategic solutions for global social change. This online showcase will enable examples of groundbreaking work to be shared with an international audience and inspire a wide range of sectors and communities. VISIT F4DTV.COM TO VIEW RECENT COVERAGE AND SUBMIT VIDEOS FOR CONSIDERATION