The myth that fashion designers live in their villas and yachts refusing to know what happens to the less fortunate must be absolutely debunked.
We have been doing Convivio for the last 20 years, there's the Life Ball and AmfAR, and the first to join the cause to raise funds have always been the designers. At Christmas lots of them send greeting cards bearing the name of a foundation or project they have supported also on your behalf. When the tsunami tragically struck Japan our publishing house, Condé Nast, besides the Della Valle family, donated significant sums of money to the Red Cross, or to Save the Children, helping out over 7,000 orphans.
Renzo Rosso is setting up a village to provide accommodation for orphan children in Mali and Luxottica has already donated over 5 million eyeglasses to the partially blind. Gucci produces some of their items in Africa, as well as Ilaria Fendi. Armani support several organizations that fight against various diseases, while Matteo and Marta Marzotto support the battle against cystic fibrosis. Margherita Missoni, who will get married in a month, instead of drawing up the traditional wedding list will ask the guests to make donations to African orphanages.
I could go on mentioning whatever name springs to your mind, be them Italian, American and French. Global fashion is the first to expose itself and help out when tragedies affect and strike different populations in different countries. Thinking that with fame designers have also become selfish -- spending all they earn in vacations, jewelry, cars and parties -- is wrong.
It is important for me to underline this aspect because people often blame the luxury world of exploiting situations, while nobody mentions the true qualities they have displayed when helping spontaneously those in need. I wonder why the media give so much space to evil and immoral deeds carried out, besides, by very few people, but hardly mention the good deeds done by many?
Scandals are more media-friendly, while good deeds are usually not flaunted around. It's a good and admirable attitude. Yet mentioning good deeds once in a while may help understand that the fashion world is not just frivolous. Besides being the second largest asset in the national balance sheet, it's a community made up of generous and altruistic people. And highly committed.
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