e are very happy,” said a Saks Fifth Avenue Atlanta store spokeswoman. “We saw better numbers and attendance this year for the pre-shopping weekend party than for last year’s event. People are motivated, they really want to get out and help,” she said. She expects to meet or exceed the $100,000 raised in Atlanta in the past two years.
Danskin Inc. designed and produced this year’s T-shirt, which sold at Saks for $25, featuring the bulls-eye logo. Proceeds go to the Fashion Targets Breast Cancer Foundation to support the funding of grants. The in-store T-shirts sold out by the beginning of December, said a Saks Fifth Avenue spokesman. Saks also carries a “With Pride” T-shirt for $20, with proceeds going to the September 11th fund, part of a $1 million pledge from Saks Inc.
With job security and consumer confidence at record lows, “Dress for Success” is in a difficult position. “With the job market harder now, it’s harder for our women to get jobs, and they have to look sharper. Our need is greater than ever,” said board member Ellie Wolf.
Wolf, a former sales representative with Total Accessories in AmericasMart, is the mother of Dress for Success founder Deborah Wolf. Now an Atlanta-based attorney, Wolf began the charitable organization as “Working Wardrobe” in 1997, with the goal of providing quality clothing for women who were trying to make the transition from welfare to a 9-to-5 job.
Atlanta’s Dress for Success chapter collects business-appropriate attire from individual donations and sponsors, such as Garfield and Marks, which donated one thousand new suits last year. The Avon Corp. also donated hosiery and jewelry, according to Wolf.
AmericasMart is a regional sponsor of “Dress for Success,” providing a 2,500-square-foot space that is used for storage and dressing areas. AmericasMart sponsored a silent auction at the 2001 DIVA Awards in October, which featured such donated items as a Kenneth Jay Lane sapphire and crystal necklace and a Phat Farm baseball jacket.
The silent auction raised 75 percent of their target figure, which Wolf declined to provide. Sales of the “Food for Thought” cookbook, with favorite recipes contributed by DIVA nominees, will also be donated to the fund. Production and printing of the book was cosponsored by AmericasMart and advertising agency T.G. Madison.
“The majority of our women are larger sizes,” said Wolf, “so we need money to buy size 14-26 clothing and shoes.”
Dress for Success’ efforts result in more than just wardrobe improvements.
“People who come out of here have hugged me [saying] ‘I’ve never been treated like this,”‘ said Wolf. “I’ve seen them go from slumped shoulders to heads held up high.”
For more information on charities mentioned in this article, please contact them directly at:
CFDA/Vogue “Fashion for America,” style.com.
Fashion Targets Breast Cancer, saks.com.
Cure By Design, 352-380-0090.
AmFAR, amfar.org or 1-800-39-amfAR.
Dress for Success, 404-589-1177 or visit dressforsuccess.org.
The United Way, unitedway.org.
The September 11th Fund 1-800-710-8002 uwnyc.org/Sept11.
The American Red Cross , redcross.org.