By and  on February 12, 2009

NEW YORK — The Council of Fashion Designers of America is evolving its health initiative this season with a special collection of designer items.

On the initiative’s second anniversary, the CFDA turned to some of its members to create a limited edition line, each featuring the tag line “Health is Beauty.” Among the designs is a T-shirt by CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg for $20; a Michael Kors tote for $25; a Donna Karan yoga mat by Yogamatic for $40; a Patrick Robinson for Gap cosmetic case for $15 (or $25 for two), and a Talbots scarf for $30.

“We were somewhat inspired by the Obama Runway for Change collection and how designers got involved in that,” said CFDA executive director Steven Kolb. “We wanted to continue down that road of awareness and education, and we felt a small collection that used our tag line ‘Health is Beauty’ would help us reach people who come to the tents.”

The items will be available at a Calvin Klein Inc.-designed booth at Mercedes-Benz Fashion Week in Bryant Park, and their sale will benefit the CFDA Foundation and the health initiative.

“I feel validated that the choices we made two years ago not to require Body Mass Index (BMI), doctors or a health certificate, and make it about education and awareness really resonated,” Kolb said. “There has definitely been a change.”

Talbots will highlight the program by dedicating the windows of its Madison Avenue flagship to the cause from Friday through Feb. 28.

In other CFDA news, the organization has established the Liz Claiborne Fashion Scholarship Award, funded by a $1 million gift from the late Liz Claiborne’s husband and business partner, Art Ortenberg. A curriculum for colleges and universities has been designed to challenge students to reinterpret Claiborne’s concept of creating clothes that “fit the way women live.” The $25,000 merit-based scholarship will go to a full-time, senior-level women’s wear design student. In April, the CFDA will invite leading fashion colleges and universities to participate, with submissions due at the end of October and the winner revealed in November. Applicants must submit a fall 2010 or spring 2011 collection of related American sportswear separates based on Liz Claiborne’s core design principles. Ortenberg and Claiborne’s friends and associates Dana Buchman, Ellen Daniel and Van Lupu created the scholarship’s guidelines and criteria.

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