It is needless to say that this pandemic has had effects on many of us, it can be challenging to motivate, to stay creative and to carry on with our lives; we have all been asked to be at a standstill in a bid to fight the coronavirus. Many brands, designers and influencers have set aside their future goals, but it is their current actions that give us faith. From generating donations to joining forces to create PPE/face masks, they have shown why the fashion industry is so great; at times of crisis, we quickly come together and innovate to provide positive contributions.
Edeline Lee is another force to be reckoned with. Having apprenticed for Alexander McQueen and John Galliano, working for Zac Posen and being the Head Designer for Rodnik; it is evident that she has experience, whereby her flair is what makes this designer so fascinating to myself. The designer has been quoted to design for the “the Future Lady”, her collections have the elegance we all aspire but the practicality and versatility we need. Edeline Lee has strong support from the fashion industry especially from women, she even hosts the Women & Power Speaker Series at Fenwick of Bond Street. The recent topic being Women Writing Women, with a discussion between Anne Sebba and Virginia Nicholson. Edeline is a proactive designer who owns no limits, and her plans during lockdown shows her integrity.
During her time in lockdown, Lee has started a Non-Profit Mask Making Project. The aim is to produce 20,000 masks for frontline workers from 100% Nonwoven Spunbound PolyPropylene. Being transparent and honest, these masks are not medical-grade N95 or P3 however these masks are to provide extra protection. She isn’t making these masks herself, she has interacted with everyone and encouraging those who have the skillset to sew to help reach the goal and produce masks – if you’re able and willing, email email@example.com, alternatively donate to support logistical costs at her GoFundMe page. Whilst Lee isn’t a scientist, she has been meticulous in her research and is determined to help provide face masks to front liners as they run out of PPE.
There is one word to describe Shafiroff that comes to mind, resilience. Being quite hands-on with supporting different social causes, one would question ‘what now?’ for the philanthropist as we are all bound to lockdown. Having chaired numerous galas for New York Women’s Foundation, Southampton Hospital (NYC), and American Cancer Society to name a few, her contributions and influence has been not only noticed but awarded. With these glamorous social functions, she has a collection of over 200 gowns from Carolina Herrera to Malan Breton – an interesting fact for us nosey parkers who want insight into her fashionable wardrobe. Putting her ballgowns back into the wardrobe, she is doing what she does best without the galas. Jean Shafiroff shows her resilience by influencing her audience to contribute without the black tie.
Before the pandemic, Jean is quoted “I believe we are not just put on this earth to just to consume and to provide for ourselves and our immediate families”. She remains true with her statement, with poignant reminders of simple tasks we can all do to prevent the spread, her weekly prayers become regular nudges to donate funds or available to food to those in need. In addition, as a member of the board for Southampton Hospital Association, not only is she actively donating – she is asking you to donate and have your positive contribution. Jean Shafiroff has shown that wherever she goes is a gala, and she uses that to her advantage.
Emile Vidar Carr
Emile Vidal Carr is an international womenswear designer with a knack for architecture and colour. The designer’s portfolio speaks for itself, working with the world’s prestigious fashion houses such as Alexander McQueen, Roland Mouret and Ralph & Russo. Emile has not only embarked his brand 5 years ago; he was a finalist for the 2019 DHL Fashion potential award in partnership with the British Fashion Council. Emile Vidal Carr is versatile and innovative, this is shown in his creative vision for his brand, to engineer garments for women opposed to tailoring; furthermore, this energy is still running strong with his #IsolateandCreate Campaign.
Understanding that as the nation is in lockdown with a majority furloughed, this is the best time to be creative. Moreover, this time is a fantastic opportunity to encourage upcycling and be more sustainable. Thus, the designer’s action plan was to send packages that included fabrics, threads and trims from his collections to his followers to create their own upcycled Emile Vidal Carr tote. Not only does this motivate and uplift the fashion community and his consumers, his campaign was the perfect opportunity to have zero waste. Emile Vidal Carr will be resharing his favourite totes on his own Instagram. We have learnt a lesson from the designer, being sustainable can keep us motivated. Who wouldn’t be chuffed with an Emile Vidal Carr tote with the knowledge that you’ve reduced waste? A happy environment makes for a happy mind.
Fashion label from New York, proclaimed to be a brand of having a ‘no-nonsense approach to fashion’, Kate Wasserbach, former Associate Designer for Michael Kors is wasting no time during lockdown. Similar to Edeline Lee, Wasserbach has acknowledged the importance of PPE. Launching #ABELSHONOR, she has the aim of giving “back to not only our healthcare workers ‑and our community- but to connect to the general public to tackle the preventative curve. We had purchased a bulk amount of PPE with the idea of sending all of the product to hospitals in need.” An example of the great help she has offered, she donated 1000 masks to Elmhurst Hospital in New York due to severe shortage of PPE supplies. She has used her campaign and platform to reach out to those in need of PPE, but also to encourage others to help where one can; a collection of small acts contributes to the greater good.
With the influx of requests, the immense pressure doesn’t sway Wasserbach or her team, they send out masks to nursing homes, smaller ICU teams or even larger groups such as Sloan Kettering; who do not necessarily interact with COVID-19 patients but in order for them to continue to treat cancer patients they are in a high need of masks. It is clear that Abel Honor and the team have not just thought about front liners but those who could get affected if they aren’t helped to prevent the spread.
If you’re in the US and are in need of masks, please contact firstname.lastname@example.org
The World of Pyrrha has gotten a lot more wholesome as the jewellery brand redefines meaningful with compassion for our planet, but we want to show how this brand is showing this same energy to the people. Designers Danielle Wilmore and Wade Papin founded Pyrrha, a brand that creates handcrafted jewellery using reclaimed sterling silver, bronze, and 14K gold with conflict-free stones. It is said that ‘Pyrrha jewelry reflects the processes and people that craft it, proudly bearing the maker’s hand.’ With each symbol that a talisman represents, and the care provided, it is no surprise that Pyrrha have actively wanted to bring these talismans to those they believe are important and special.
Culled from heraldry, these symbolic talismans adopt a whole new meaning and sentiments for their pieces as the brand gifts nominated healthcare workers with their jewellery with Instagram. This is kind action is present in their ethos, ‘we believe that successful business does not have to come at the expense of people or the planet’; whilst the B Corporation is consistent with their views on sustainability through their techniques of crafting the beautiful talismans, during these trying times, Pyrrha is devoting its attention to the people.
How does it feel to be British, especially now? During difficult times, the Brits never back down; we take pride in having a stiff upper lip when stuck in adversity. Designer Olivia Welsh from Manchester captures this well with her Florence Nightingale t‑shirt in a beautiful NHS blue. Welsh has been a designer that has been very careful with curating a collection, taking inspiration from different time periods; thus, it is befitting that the brand presents a positive reminder from the past with Nightingale. Furthermore, her team have focused on the positive and are commemorating the ‘Year of the Nurse’, whilst highlighting 200 years since Nightingale’s birth.
This is poetry to our ears; I think it is with agreement that using the ‘Lady with the Lamp’ who founded nursing to be a poignant reminder for us all. We have been reminded that we need to care and to respect our nurses, especially now. 100% of profits of the Unisex Charity T‑shirt will be going to help fund PPE for NHS staff. With this purchase, not only are you receiving an exclusive print from Hattie Matthews for OA on a 100% fine jersey cotton t‑shirt, most importantly you’re contributing to a bigger goal of protecting our NHS staff so they can do what they do best: catering for you and your needs.