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Lauren Lauds Work Of Cancer Campaign

When the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in 1994, Ralph Lauren spearheaded the campaign by drumming up support from the international fashion community.

NEW YORK — When the Council of Fashion Designers of America launched Fashion Targets Breast Cancer in 1994, Ralph Lauren spearheaded the campaign by drumming up support from the international fashion community and designing the signature bull’s-eye motif. Since then, FTBC has become a global initiative, so when its international partners convened in New York for a two-day conference to share their experiences, it was befitting Lauren would host a cocktail reception in their honor.

On Monday night, FTBC executives from nine countries, Polo Ralph Lauren executives and a slew of designers gathered in the clublike reception area of Polo’s 650 Madison Avenue headquarters.

Lauren gave a heartfelt speech in front of a crowd that included CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg, Dana Buchman, Stan Herman, John Varvatos and Gerard Yosca, recalling how his friend, the late Washington Post journalist Nina Hyde, motivated him to galvanize the fashion community in the fight against breast cancer.

“I wrote a letter to every fashion designer in the world and asked them if they would be interested in supporting the Nina Hyde Center,” Lauren recalled. “I got money from every designer.”

Addressing the international partners, he added, “What’s interesting to me is to see the enthusiasm. It started with a woman who needed help and went around the world.”

CFDA executive director Steven Kolb said the conference offered a platform to share ideas. “In Canada, FTBC organizes one FTBC Friday a year, which resembles Casual Fridays, except that everyone wears their bull’s-eye T-shirts,” he said. “We talked about how amazing it would be to have that here.”

This story first appeared in the November 29, 2006 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.