NEW YORK — Saks Fifth Avenue is expanding its annual charitable drive in an effort to touch more women who are affected by cancer.
After partnering with the Council of Fashion Designers of America for four years in its Fashion Targets Breast Cancer initiative, Saks is creating a new initiative with Hollywood’s Entertainment Industry Foundation called Saks Fifth Avenue’s Key to the Cure. It will follow the same format as SFA’s previous four-day shopping events, during which 2 percent of sales through all Saks channels were earmarked for breast cancer charities, but will now be expanded to make donations to local and national women’s cancer organizations that also specialize in ovarian, uterine or cervical cancers.
“Fashion Targets Breast Cancer has been a wonderful vehicle for us to drive contributions to funds for cancer to the tune of more than $9 million,” said Christina Johnson, president and chief executive officer of Saks Fifth Avenue Enterprises.
Saks is also working with Stella McCartney to design a new T-shirt that will be sold to benefit the new fund-raising drive, which will likely be unveiled in Los Angeles around the time of the Academy Awards, when Saks will additionally name a celebrity ambassador for the program. Sales of the original FTBC bull’s-eye logo T-shirt, which was designed by Ralph Lauren, have been a major source of revenue for the CFDA charity.
Peter Arnold, executive director of the CFDA, said the organization would explore other partnerships to maintain an engaging fund-raising effort for the FTBC program.
“We had four great years,” Arnold said. “Cause-related fund-raising is in constant need of new life and new events. We will look for other partners.”
As reported, Anna Wintour, editor in chief of Vogue, said on Monday that Vogue and the CFDA would revive the popular 7th on Sale initiative next year to benefit AIDS and HIV-related charities, an issue that many designers feel has been ignored by the CFDA since it expanded its focus on breast cancer initiatives. Arnold said the CFDA would also continue to create vehicles to promote the FTBC program, now in its ninth year.
Saks, however, plans to greatly expand its women’s cancer-related programming, Johnson said, noting that 80 percent of its customers and workforce are women.
“This is a big opportunity for us because we can expand our giving power to fund really important research that funds not only breast cancer, but all reproductive cancers faced by women,” added Jaqui Lividini, senior vice president of fashion merchandising, communications. “Our original fund-raising drive for women’s cancer was to really target a disease that was foremost on our customers’ minds. Our ability to increase our giving to these other types of cancer research really sticks with that mission.”