The summit, focused on women’s equality issues, was initially held in 2016 in Washington, D.C., jointly with the Obama administration’s White House Council on Women and Girls. This year’s summit, the second ever, takes place May 5 and 6 at the Shrine Auditorium with a speaker roster that includes Michelle Obama, Jane Fonda and Los Angeles mayor Eric Garcetti.
“For me, I think from the beginning when we started the brand, it was really important that we give back to something not knowing specifically what it would be or what that partnership would look like,” said Land of Distraction founder, chief executive officer and executive creative director Danita Short. “When we came across United State of Women and their charity, I think it just really fit because they cover such a broad spectrum.”
Land of Distraction, which launched late last year with its first collection rolled out in February, made two T-shirts for next week’s summit. One shirt bears the phrase “Land of Equality” in a play on the company’s name and Short’s interest in spreading a message of equality, while the second reads United State of Women’s tag line, “Barriers Are Meant to Be Broken.” Each shirt retails for $40 and will be sold at the event and on Land of Distraction’s online shop, with all sales going to the organization, on top of a $1 match of as much as $25,000 for social media posts using the hashtags #Landofdistraction and #StateofWomen.
“For me, being empowered and empowering women, that’s the message we really want to get across,” Short said. “Coming from a nontraditional fashion background and taking a chance and seeing how far I’ve come myself in the past 20 months, to be able to pass that message on to others and inspire them and empower them.”
Short came into fashion as a nurse and is backed by Canadian businessman Laurie Venning. The investment in the company marked Venning’s foray into fashion.
Land of Distraction is primed to grow at wholesale, slightly ahead of schedule, as it prepares to show its third collection in June. The brand is set to launch this year in Barneys New York stores on Madison Avenue, Brooklyn, Boston, Chicago, San Francisco, Beverly Hills and online, in addition to Hudson’s Bay in Vancouver and Toronto and in Japan at Estimation and Spick & Span.