The ‘Watch Hunger Stop’ is a collection of watches designed by Michael Kors and endorsed by Kate Hudson, promising to give 100 children a nutritious meal for every watch sold from the World Food Programme. This isn’t the first time that the designer has got into helping charity, as he is also known to support the Breast Cancer Awareness Foundation.
Ralph Lauren has actively created two of its own charities dedicated to helping others, the Pink Pony Fund for cancer care and prevention, and The Ralph Lauren Center for Cancer Care and Prevention which was founded 10 years ago. The Pink Pony Fund aims to be a worldwide fight against cancer, with 25% of sales from products in the UK going to the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. The second charity has cared for around 100,000 patients and 13,000 uninsured individuals from around all of the five New York City boroughs.
Lots of designers choose to donate to AIDs charities, or even set up their own. Kenneth Cole works actively for amfAR, The Foundation for AIDs Research, creating most of the awareness for the company. Giorgio Armani and clothing brand GAP support PRODUCT (RED) which creates awareness and funds to battle HIV and AIDs in Africa.
Sometimes a natural disaster evokes emotion in designers which sparks starting their own charity. This happened in the case of the 2008 Sichuan earthquake in China, which provoked Donatella Versace to team up with Chinese actor Jet Li to make the Versace One Foundation. Together they have opened two centres in the region to support the children affected.
An earthquake in Italy resulted in James Ferragamo working with GlobalGiving to donate funds, holding an online auction of celebrity owned and signed Ferragamo handbags that continues to raise awareness and provide funds for future events.
Gucci has donated over $7million to UNICEF (The United Nations Children’s Fund) and continues to help towards the cause. Oscar De La Renta works towards improving children’s prospects that have been supported by child welfare with the charity New Yorkers for Children.
Many designers contribute to great causes with the consumers and onlookers of their products being completely unaware. Many other brands and houses help charities of their choice, working towards creating a better future and helping those who are suffering.