Zoë Kravitz, Lenny Kravitz, Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry, Paris Jackson, Lionel Richie, Eddie Murphy, Ashlee Simpson Ross, Evan Ross and Usher are among the familiar names taking part in a charitable art auction benefitting the Chema Vision Children’s Center in Nairobi, Kenya.
They’ve each embellished a bag, a vegan tote by L.A. brand Ministry of Tomorrow, that will be on display at Christie’s in Rockefeller Center in New York starting today until June 16. The project, “Art for Education,” is a partnership with Rodney Burns and David Malvaney of Church Boutique (the shop on Melrose Avenue), as well as online charity auction platform Charitybuzz. Bids start at $1,000 on charitybuzz.com, with all proceeds helping to fund the school. The goal is to raise $100,000.
“The Chema Vision Children’s Center is located near our production facility in Nairobi,” said Ministry of Tomorrow founder Julian Prolman in an exclusive statement. The creator produces handmade luxury vegan bags and accessories. “We heard about the Kenyan government shutting down schools that were not up to code and learned that Chema was not able to gather the funds to upgrade their structure and as a result Chema had to close, leaving 155 children without a school that also provided a daily meal to some of Kibera’s most vulnerable children, many who are orphans and children of single mothers without the ability to pay for school fees.”
Madonna made “a generous donation” early on that enabled the school to move to a new facility, but the next challenge is funding its annual budget, he continued. Word got out and the “response was immediate.”
“What we are doing is using fashion as a vehicle for social and environmental activism,” added Prolman. “This is a movement that joins luxury and virtue. It’s about quality craftsmanship combined with care for nature, animals, the people who make the products and everyone along the supply chain that had a hand in producing the materials that go into our bags. Our production facility in Nairobi was established to provide fair wage job opportunities for tailors that come from Kibera, [the largest slum in Nairobi]. For us, this is more than fashion. This is about caring for life on Earth.”