Aspen Fashion Week: Combining Play With Philanthropy
Gallery: Aspen Fashion Week
W magazine began the week long event with their annual opening night party. The schedule included on-mountain activities with Heidiski, Marmot, Kjus, and High Society Free Ride. In addition, there was all day access to the Aspen Club & Spa, all day make-up services by Nars at Cos Bar, and in In-store events with J. Crew (featuring Creative Director Jenna Lyons), Burberry, The Gallerie, Pitkin Co. and a Calypso pop-up shop. There were Après ski fashion shows and presentations with Marmot, Kjus, Victorinex, D&E, Helly Hansen, Obermeyer, Wellensteyn, Authier, Gray, Gabriel Conroy and Christian Siriano. Also, there were screenings of Douglas Keeve's films – Hotel Gramercy Park, Seamless, Unzipped and Fashion Kingdom aka Naomi Conquers Africa, hosted by Naomi Campbell.
It was an event that combined fun, music, fashion, celebrities, and Feed Bags.
Feed Bags? This latter product benefits The Feed Foundation, the charitable partner of Aspen Fashion Week, making all of the fun and color have a more substantial meaning to this event. The Feed Foundation launched their FEED Nature Bag at the event and was sold at various venues, including Ralph Lauren. Also, FEED Founders Lauren Bush and Ellen Gustafson hosted an evening of music with John Forte, of the Fugees, at Aspen's famous Belly Up.
Proceeds from the FEED Nature bag will benefit earthquake victims in Haiti. The goal of FEED Projects is to market and sell as many FEED bags as possible and to feed and educate the world's 400 million hungry children. FEED Projects was started in 2007 by Lauren Bush, an honorary spokesperson for the United Nations World Food Program, and Ellen Gustafson, a former United Nations communications officer. The FEED Foundation is the FEED non-profit arm that raises money and awareness for sustainable global food systems interventions, like school feeding.
Lauren Bush then explained, "The money raised with this bag goes to school feeding in places where they have experienced natural disasters. For example, Chile or Haiti. Twenty school meals are provided for every bag sold. We have chosen many countries to help, but Rwanda and Kenya are at the top of the list. We make some our bags in Kenya. And of course, Rwanda still experiences genocide and food shortages, so they need our help as much as possible."
As this AFW was a resounding success, both in terms of celebrity cachet and charitable giving, the next Aspen Fashion Week is already being planned for September 2010. Stay tuned.