New York-based designer Mi Jong Lee has a thing for women, “real” women that is.
The designer is launching a project tonight called “Real Women. Real Clothes.” featuring six distinguished women that serves as the label’s spring campaign. The multifaceted women, according to Lee, are uniquely distinguished and capture the strength and spirit of American-made fashion. “I’m saluting and celebrating really empowered women here of all ages and hopefully it will translate and move on to empowering women globally,” Lee said ahead of the event.
The mixed bag of powerhouse names ranges from U.S. Army veteran and chief executive officer of Xtreme solutions Phyllis Newhouse, to real estate power broker Louise Phillips Forbes, to fashion-familiar names like Amanda Hearst. “For all the women chosen, I want the age boundary gone, the race boundary gone, the cultural boundary gone. That’s my message, that’s who I’m designing for,” says Lee.
The spring collection is Lee’s second under her namesake label, inspired by sculptor Alexander Calder for his portrayal of movement and color, and features a sleek and modern aesthetic. Her designs are meant to be enjoyed by a global audience of women, perhaps linked to the multicultural upbringing she had traveling the world to follow her father’s diplomatic career.
Portraits of the campaign, shot by Seiji Fujimori, will be exhibited gallery style at the brand’s Madison Avenue store tonight. All six women are expected to attend, along with the designer. Benefits from the event will go to two charities: iXoxo, which focuses on education of young girls in South Africa; and WISE, geared towards empowering women in Ghana to start small entrepreneurial beginnings.