Kiehl’s Since 1861 plans to kick off its latest philanthropy effort — and 160th birthday celebration — with a star-studded cocktail party at its Third Avenue flagship in New York this evening. The event will introduce Kiehl’s Gives, an ongoing global philanthropic initiative, and the brand’s new Global Ambassadors, Julianne Moore, Pharrell Williams and the Scissor Sisters.
This story first appeared in the May 18, 2011 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.
Each of the ambassadors will front a different area of concern: Moore, children’s well-being; Williams, the environment, and the Scissor Sisters, HIV/AIDS. Each pillar will represent eight charitable organizations, with each being brought to life through a short film series viewable at kiehlsgives.com. The site will go live on June 15, and the public will be invited to vote on their favorite initiatives through Aug. 31. In September, Kiehl’s will distribute $160,000 — in honor of its birthday — to the charities, with the biggest piece of the pie going to the pillar garnering the most votes. Each charity will get at least $20,000, said Chris Salgardo, president of Kiehl’s USA.
Moore told WWD that, as a self-described military brat (she is the daughter of a retired judge in the Army’s Judge Advocate General Corps), she saw great discrepancies in the resources available to children in the areas of her family’s two dozen postings around the globe — leading to her passion for Save The Children, the charitable organization with which she works most closely.
“My father was in the military, so we moved all over the place,” said Moore. “It was evident pretty early on that not all school systems are created equal; there are school systems where there isn’t enough money for even the basics, where there is extreme poverty. I could see this even as a kid, so when I had the chance to make a difference as an adult, it was important to me to do so. I became involved with Save the Children, and I’ve worked with Kiehl’s on projects before. I can’t stress enough how much work they do in New York City and globally. They have taken it on themselves, as a brand, to support all of these charities.” Moore, whose latest film, “Crazy, Stupid, Love,” is out July 29, has also signed on to play vice presidential candidate Sarah Palin in an upcoming HBO drama.
“As an ambassador, I have committed to lend my image and reach to help build awareness for eco-charities around the world,” Williams said on Monday. “On a personal level, the partnership gives me a global platform to help educate and inspire people to learn more about how to encourage green practices among the future generation. The Kiehl’s Gives program is helping to support my foundation, From One Hand to Another, and its construction of an eco-building that will be an educational resource center for kids.”
Williams worked with Kiehl’s on Earth Day projects in 2010 and 2011, and designed lab coats and an eco-tote through his Bionic Yarn company on sale now in Kiehl’s stores worldwide.
Ana Matronic, lead singer for the Scissor Sisters, lost her father to AIDS in 1990. “It’s always been something that I’ve been focused on in my charitable endeavors,” she said late last week. “When we heard about the project — which is the idea of doing good in your own community — to me, that was a no-brainer. We want to encourage those shopping to shop with a conscience. It’s exciting to see results at the local level, too — doing good doesn’t just have to be supporting a starving child in another country. That’s incredibly noble, but you can do it in our own community, too.”
Matronic is particularly supportive of The After Hours Project, a Brooklyn-based charity which will be the recipient of some of the Kiehl’s Gives funds. “The program provides people — prostitutes, the homeless, and others, with a variety of health and social services designed to prevent the spread of HIV/AIDS, including needle exchanges and HIV counseling and testing after traditional 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. working hours,” said Matronic.