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MILAN — Elizabeth Arden and the Italian Heart Foundation are teaming up for the Red Dress Italia project to inform women about cardiovascular diseases and raise funds to help research.

This story first appeared in the September 24, 2009 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

This is the Italian version of the American Go Red for Women fund-raiser, which was launched in 2002 with the American Heart Association.

Partnering with Vogue Italia and the “Who’s on Next?” talent search for the first time, Red Dress Italia asked finalists for the design award, held in July in Rome, to create red dresses and accessories as part of the project. Jurors selected an organza dress by Moi Multiple by Anna Ceccon and sequin shoes by David Wyatt as winners of the Tribute to Red Dress section.

All items will be on display at the Milan fairgrounds during Milan Fashion Week, starting on Friday, and will later be auctioned off to raise funds for the cause. Among previous “Who’s on Next?” discoveries are designers Tommaso Aquilano and Roberto Rimondi, Albino D’Amato and Gabriele Colangelo.

“We strongly believe information as prevention cuts risks by 50 percent,” said Marco Ficarelli, general manager of Elizabeth Arden Italy. “We selected “Who’s on Next?” because fashion is key to connect to younger people,” said Ficarelli, noting that cardiovascular diseases are the “number-one killer of Italian women.” The dates are also appropriate as Sunday is World Heart Day, noted Ficarelli.

In addition, for each Elizabeth Arden Eight Hour Cream sold, the company will donate 1 euro, or $1.48 at current exchange, to the Italian Heart Foundation.

“I thought this iconic Elizabeth Arden product would work for this project because it is not connected to one specific moment and is used differently on different occasions,” said Ficarelli, adding that this project is a good fit for the company, given that the “brand stands for beauty coming from the inside, too.”

This is the second Red Dress Italia edition. Last year, through a charity gala dinner, the sale of the “Go Go Red” lipstick and contributions from Philippe Matignon and Lycra, it raised more than $84,000.

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