As with many East Coasters, Hurricane Sandy hit the New York fashion industry hard. The stores and headquarters of countless designers were met with damaged merchandise and office equipment, along with power and electricity outages that made conducting everyday business near impossible.
But as they did with the AIDS crisis and 9/11 (which spawned Seventh on Sale and the CFDA/Vogue Fashion Fund, respectively), fashion insiders have united to help out those hit hardest.
Within days of the disaster, stylist Mary Alice Stephenson’s non-profit, Glam4Good, was collecting clothes, toys, and beauty basics and distributing them in the Far Rockaways, where thousands of people had lost everything. Glam4Good also partnered with Richer Poorer and Fashion Indie on the Hurricane Sock Hop, an event that delivered donations to those in need as a second Nor’easter hit the Tri-State area.
On the retail front, dozens of stores and sites, including Elizabeth Charles, Salvatore Ferragamo, Alexis Bittar, Fashionhaus, and Barneys New York, donated a portion of profits to relief efforts. But the contributions didn’t stop there. Artist Sebastian Errazuriz created two very clever T-shirts to raise funds for survivors, W magazine beauty director Jane Larkworthy took to Twitter to call upon her editor pals to donate the contents of their magazines’ beauty closets to victims, and Fashion Girls For Humanity hosted a two-day sample sale with merch from hundreds of designers.
Still on the horizon, The Pratt Center for Community Development is giving local manufacturers a hand with their online Made in NYC Holiday Shop, featuring wares from 170 local brands affected by the storm, and 2(x)ist opened a holiday pop-up shop in Times Square, with 100% of the profits going to the American Red Cross in Greater New York.
Finally, Fashion For Sandy Relief, organized by the CFDA and Vogue, kicked off with a one-night-only sale in Manhattan hosted by Tory Burch, which continues through December 5 with an online auction at charitybuzz.com featuring once-in-a-lifetime experiences. These include a New York Fashion Week backstage visit with Victoria Beckham, dinner with Gwyneth Paltrow and Mario Batali, and a private tour of the 2013 Costume Institute Gala with Anna Wintour herself.
Lauren David Peden writes for Rue La La as a Contributing Editor.