Designers and Luxury Firms Push Earth Day

Designers Going Green with Christie's for Earth Day

David LaChapelle’s “Rape of Africa” will be among the items up for bid.

Leave it to a brigade of leading designers and Christie’s to dress up Earth Day with an inaugural green auction set for April 22 in New York.

This story first appeared in the March 31, 2010 issue of WWD.  Subscribe Today.

The honorary host committee made up of PPR chairman François-Henri Pinault, Anna Zegna, Vivienne Westwood, Lauren Bush, Maggie Rizer and Barneys New York fashion director Julie Gilhart have been calling their fashion friends to support “A Bid to Save the Earth.”

On what will be the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, bidders will vie for lots such as a private lunch with Vera Wang; Giorgio Armani evening ensembles and two tickets to Vanity Fair’s Oscars after party; his and her bespoke suits from Stella McCartney, as well as a private fitting with the designer; Girard-Perregaux watches; Valextra luggage; Harry Winston jewelry; David LaChapelle photography, and a bevy of other luxury items. Artists Damien Hirst and Keith Tyson have also donated original art for the event.

Christie’s is waiving its fees and all proceeds will benefit four nonprofit organizations: Oceana, Conservation International, the Central Park Conservancy and the Natural Resources Defense Council. Christopher Burge will drop the gavel during the auction and there also will be bidding via christies.com. A silent auction powered by Charitybuzz.com will also include photography, paintings and sculpture.

Gilhart is rounding up an assortment of designers, celebrities and others for a public service announcement that will be shot in New York Thursday and Friday by director Nicole Mackinlay Hahn. Gilhart said of participants’ enthusiasm about the green auction, “Sometimes you have a problem and you don’t know what to do to solve it. This offers designers the opportunity to do what they do, to have someone buy it and to have that money go to an organization that will affect change. It’s actually an amazing equation.”

In honor of Earth Day’s 40th anniversary, Barneys has partnered with Loomstate to create a series of organic cotton T-shirts inspired by the NBC logo’s peacock feathers, which will retail for $40 at barneys.com and loomstate.org. NBC Universal is the media partner for the green auction. A percentage of proceeds from the T-shirt sales will go to 1% for the Planet, which will then donate the funds to The Christie Charity. The latter will earmark the money raised for the event’s four nonprofits.

Susan Cohn Rockefeller, who is cochairing the host committee with her husband, David Rockefeller Jr., said, “It’s a game changer to have so many passionate and talented people link arms on behalf of the environment.”