Making his first public pitch to fight world poverty, Tommy Hilfiger challenged 1,000 chief executive officers Friday to rally around the cause.
As the freshly minted global leader for Millennium Promise, an initiative that aims to halve world poverty by 2015, Hilfiger addressed attendees at the United Nations Global Compact Leaders Summit at the Marriott Marquis in New York.
“I am asking all of you to join me in this crusade to end extreme poverty. We know the model works, and with additional resources, we know we can double our efforts,” he said. “I challenge each of you to use all of your resources to support the Millennium Villages Project with your help of any kind, not just donation. We cannot only end poverty, but affect generations to come.”
Having visited a community of 55,000 people in Uganda recently, Hilfiger told the business leaders that prior to Millennium Promise’s involvement there, 95 percent of households survived hand to mouth, food production could not be achieved, nearly two-thirds of the community were earning less than $1 a day and there was no access to health clinics. But the progress he saw in terms of safer water access, substantially better sanitation, the establishment of school classrooms, successful harvests for food co-ops and malaria-fighting efforts inspired him, he said.
Having been tapped by MP’s president and ceo, Jeffrey Sachs, last week to be MP’s front man, Hilfiger told the crowd, “It is hard to be the first, but I will do my best for sure.”
Hilfiger, whose corporate foundation pledged $2 million for the cause last year, said, “We’re doing our small part by donating direct funding, creating an employee engagement fund and a cause-marketing fund. ”
In his remarks Friday, Sachs noted that “life is a daily struggle” for 1.2 billion people in this world, and he encouraged attendees to get involved on a long-term basis as opposed to a one-year or three-year plan.
Afterward, when asked about Hilfiger’s appeal, Barbara Krumsiek, president and ceo of Calvert, a Bethesda, Md.-based investment firm, said of Hilfiger’s, “The fashion industry has an enormous opportunity to make an impact because the public knows them so well, follows them so well and views them as role models. What the fashion industry represents for the Millennium Promise is powerful beyond words. This is an industry that employs a lot of people and affects everyone’s way of looking at the world, particularly women.”
The panel discussion that followed had a few lighter moments, too — a gong that sounded to keep speakers on track and an impromptu World Cup analysis.
@tradesy is turning the concept of a showroom upside down with its new space in Santa Monica. Here, the company plans to hold events, art exhibits and a showcase rare fashion pieces like this Louis Vuitton boxing set. Get all the details on Tradesy’s first showroom on WWD.com. #wwdnews
Spotted last night at the @erdem x @hm launch event: Kate Bosworth, Rashida Jones, Kirsten Dunst and Selma Blair. The party, which took place in LA, also marked the opening of their pop-up shop. “I was interested in creating a collection that wasn’t in any way disposable. It was about pieces you’d create and keep forever, things that have a permanence to it,” designer Erdem Moralioglu said. #wwdeye (📷: Katie Jones)
Renee Zellweger in yellow in 2001 and again in 2017. Chosen as one of the 12 @pantone Leading Spring Colors (and dubbed “Meadowlark”), it only makes sense that the bright hue stands the test of time and is making a resurgence this season, seen already on stars like @blakelively and @gigihadid. (📷: Donato Sardello & @rexfeatures) #wwdfashion #tbt
Dior’s 70th anniversary celebration continues with a new exhibition at the Royal Ontario Museum in Toronto. “Christian Dior,” which is scheduled to run through March 18, takes a look at the founders tenure from 1947 to 1057 and feature 40 designs. Pictured here is an evening gown from the Ailée, fall 1948-49 haute couture collection. #wwdfashion (📷: Brian Boyle)
As one of the most recognizable models in the world, Christy Turlington Burns has an insider’s view of the fashion industry and the allegations of sexual harassment swirling around it. “I can say that harassment and mistreatment have always been widely known and tolerated in the industry. The industry is surrounded by predators who thrive on the constant rejection and loneliness so many of us have experiences at some point in our careers,” Turlington told WWD, along with her suggestions for how the modeling world should protect younger women and men. Read more on WWD.com. Link in bio. (📷: Tony Palmieri) #wwdnews
@asics America has tapped a new brand ambassador: famed DJ/record producer @steveaoki. This initiative is intended to set the tone for the new brand identity and philosophy and will include partnerships with influencers and in-store and off-line activations that will continue into next year. This is Asics’ most significant marketing effort in two decades, and is expected to attract younger consumers to the brand. #wwdfashion
24-year-old Jean Prounis is redefining the rules of jewelry. Formerly a studio assistant to Jemima Kirke and a design apprentice at Ghuran, she focuses on handcrafted subtleties and ancient goldsmithing techniques. “There was a really sterile feel in the environment and I wanted to have jewelry with character that shapes how you wear it everyday,” Prounis said. Each piece is hand made in New York, either by Prounis or three other jewelers in the district. #wwdfashion
“These collections continue to build on that vision, empowering differently abled adults to express themselves through fashion,” said @tommyhilfiger of his line of adaptive apparel, which launches today. The line consists of 37 men’s and 34 women’s styles based upon the pieces from the spring Tommy Hilfiger sportswear collection. #wwdnews