“We felt like it was the perfect time to really build awareness about the foundation and our mission during a time that so many of our own community is out and the international community are in Miami. Art is connecting all of us together, and what a better time to do that then during Art Basel,” said Stéphane Colleu, chief executive officer and president of Dr. Brandt.
The nonprofit organization created the speaker series as a celebration of music, art, interactive activations and storytelling. The inaugural series features artist Dominic “The Shoe Surgeon” Ciambrone; moderator Corey Stokes, fashion editor at large of HighSnobiety.com, and Dr. Ana E. Campo, professor of clinical psychiatry, Miller School of Medicine at University of Miami. The #sayiloveyou Speakers Series is the latest initiative from the Dr. Brandt Foundation, an organization that uses art and community as a platform to spread awareness for mental health issues through collaborative partnerships. The goal of the series is to break down mental health stigmas by drawing in the community and igniting conversation, showing men and women that it’s OK to talk about their mental health journeys and that there are other ways to end suffering than through self-harm or self-medication.
Ciambrone will share his own experiences with mental health and discuss how his art helped him. The inaugural Speakers Series will showcase the first collaboration of handmade sneakers by the Shoe Surgeon for the Dr. Brandt Foundation. One-hundred percent of the proceeds raised by the sale of the exclusive sneakers will fund community partnership mental health programs at the University of Miami. The idea to create a sneaker evolved from a meeting with Colleu and Ciambrone earlier this year.
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“Using the classic Air Force 1 silhouette as his canvas, Dominic’s personal handwritten story will be incorporated into the shoe — the good and the bad, his real experiences of battling depression and anxiety, the positivity of finding a way to channel those feelings — illustrating the spectrum of emotions that ultimately led to the creation of a beautiful masterpiece,” Colleu said. The shoes can be pre-ordered during the event, where guests can also meet and speak with Ciambrone. The shoe will also be exclusively available through the Shoe Surgeon web site, theshoesurgeon.com.