Toni Garrn, Gisele Bündchen, Naomi Campbell, Karlie Kloss, Gigi Hadid, Bella Hadid, Joan Smalls and Amber Valletta are among the models who have pulled some items from their closets for the “Supermodel Flea Market.”
The Toni Garrn Foundation has partnered with the cultural e-commerce site Paddle8 to create an assortment of online and offline attractions running from Aug. 19 through Nov. 30. The initiative is designed to support the foundation and to support women and girls with educational and health-care initiatives in African countries such as Burundi, Ghana, Uganda and Rwanda. The high-profile models have presented about 220 items in total. Gigi Hadid has also done some serious closet cleaning and has provided 100 items. Bündchen is another one of the more generous donors, having contributed 50 items, including the Alexander McQueen clutch that she carried at the Met gala in 2011.
Shoppers will have three options — an online auction with 15 to 20 items, an online buy-now sale featuring about 70 items that will be replenished at least three times, and a pop-up shop at the 11 Howard hotel with more than 1,000 items. As of Tuesday, they will be able to preview some of the items from the sale. For those who like to see any potential purchases IRL, the Supermodel Flea Marketplace will welcome select shoppers Sept. 12 in the 11 Howard hotel’s library. That pop-up will be open to the public Sept. 13–15. Chanel, Givenchy, Saint Laurent, Prada, Oscar de la Renta, Miu Miu, Vionnet, Viktor & Rolf, Christian Louboutin and Jimmy Choo are among the designer goods that will be up-for-grabs. A Supreme beanie, a blue “Paddock” by Jean-Louis Clerc scarf, a Diane von Furstenberg houndstooth mini dress, a T by Alexander Wang bomber jacket, Roger Vivier pumps and a Victoria Beckham for Target skirt are among the numerous offerings.
Garrn, who portrayed a secret German agent in Marvel Studios’ “Spider-Man: Far From Home,” kicked in a number of her own personal belongings such items as an Oscar de la Renta black-and-white gown, Jimmy Choo fringe boots and Gucci x GucciGhost printed pants. While the model has held sales in the past, this is the first time that Garrn has joined forces with Paddle8. Her namesake foundation was launched in 2016, but she said she has been working with the same organizations in Africa for six or seven years. “We launched the foundation because it made the most sense to not go through big organizations that have a huge overhead. I know the people where the money is going — the headmasters, the engineers or the people who run or build the school. I know them really well because I visit the places every year at least once,” Garrn said.
On location in Morocco for a German catalogue, she was baffled when strangers would not speak to her. Speculating that some of their reluctance may have been due to religious reasons, she said it “was kind of a sexy shoot and they didn’t really approve of it. I was 15 and I was quite confident already because I was traveling by myself a lot. I just couldn’t understand how the driver or the guy at reception wouldn’t talk to me. It immediately made me do research because I had never been around people like that.”
After shooting for Chloé in South Africa at the age of 16, Garrn said she was struck by the inequality between young boys and girls. Subsequent vacations with her family made her “fall in love with the continent, the gratefulness, the happiness, the weather, the nature — all of it,” she said. “Seeing how it was not equal just felt so unfair…It is very hard to go on vacation and just take from a place and not give anything back. That’s how I started slowly finding programs and projects, and then started supporting them. And the more that you go, the more you learn. Obviously, there are many issues but it usually comes down to — there is no infrastructure and the poverty. That is the number-one issue, that girls don’t go to school.”
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