Elyse Kroll may have been out of the trade show business since 2012, but the founder of ENK International has never strayed very far from her fashion roots.
She has been so touched by the work of the nurses that she mobilized her former ENK team to help her create a charity for those frontline workers fighting the coronavirus in New York City. Called From Fashion With Love, the nonprofit is soliciting apparel, accessories and beauty brands to donate to gift bags that the organization is distributing to nurses staying in hotels in New York while they battle the pandemic.
So far, Birkenstock, Rebecca Minkoff, Joe’s Jeans, Fossil, Century 21, Splendid, Michael Stars, Erika Harvey, Rhone, TruGrace, Moussy Vintage, Surfside Supply and others have all donated products.
From Fashion With Love is asking for T-shirts, slides/flip-flops, footwear, ath-leisure, lingerie, sleepwear, socks, beauty and wellness items. It has created 1,000 From Fashion With Love tote bags so far with an initial goal of 2,500. They will be filled with the donated products and distributed at the New Yorker hotel, followed by the other hotels around town that are housing the health-care workers. If the donations are large enough, Kroll hopes to move beyond New York to other cities. “If I get enough product, that’s what we’ll do,” she said.
Motivated by her sister, a retired nurse, as well as all the fashion companies who have pivoted into making masks and gowns, Kroll came up with the idea for From Fashion With Love. “This is not charity, it’s a gift,” she said. “If I can make these nurses happy and put a smile on their faces, that’s what I want to do.”
She said 75 percent of the nurses are women and 25 percent are men so the gift bags will be organized by gender to ensure all the workers have product suited to them. Volunteers will fill the bags and the nurses can begin picking them up at the New Yorker hotel later this week.
A web site, fromfashionwithlove.org, went live on Monday morning that describes the charity and walks companies through the donation process.
“To reconnect with my ENK family to truly develop this idea of giving a smile to a nurse, one gift bag full of love at a time, has been joyous,” Kroll said. “We could never do the heroic jobs that these nurses perform every day. They need to be thanked. I want them to feel our love, appreciation and gratitude.”