Designer dresses for Swarovski’s “Little Red Dress Collection.”

NEW YORK — Red dresses are generally worn to make a statement, so it’s fitting that two health-related initiatives are using red dresses to catch consumers’ eyes.<br><br>As part of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red...

NEW YORK — Red dresses are generally worn to make a statement, so it’s fitting that two health-related initiatives are using red dresses to catch consumers’ eyes.

This story first appeared in the January 27, 2004 issue of WWD. Subscribe Today.

As part of the American Heart Association’s “Go Red for Women” campaign, Swarovski has recruited 10 designers to create red dresses that will be unveiled today at its Madison Avenue boutique. The effort is tagged the “Little Red Dress Collection.”

On another unrelated front, the Red Dress Collection, a fashion show featuring the handiwork of 25 designers, will be staged Feb. 6 during Olympus Fashion Week. The National Heart, Lung & Blood Institute helped organize the event, which will spotlight dresses by Badgley Mischka, Proenza Schouler, Carmen Marc Valvo, Matthew Williamson and Narciso Rodriguez.

The Swarovski-led event includes dresses by Nicole Miller, Richard Tyler and Diane von Furstenberg, and all 10 creations will be auctioned to benefit the AHA, after touring Swarovski’s 63 stores. The company’s red-dress campaign was already in place when it heard about the Bryant Park initiative, a company spokeswoman said.

Physician Barbara Roberts will lead heart health workshops in the Madison Avenue store today through Friday. In addition, $50 Swarovski little-red-dress pins are being sold in its stores and department stores through the end of the year.

“We wanted to help raise money and give consumers something they can do to help the cause,” a company spokeswoman said.

The Red Dress Collection, on the other hand, aims to raise awareness — not money — for heart disease, the number one killer among women. During last February’s 7th on Sixth runway shows, the red-dress icon was unveiled as a symbol for heart-disease awareness. It is the centerpiece for The Heart Truth, a NHLBI-backed program that encourages women to take preventive measures against heart disease.