25 February 2010

Envisioning the Fashion World in 2025

Fast Company / Ariel Schwartz


Many of the designs at New York City's recent Fashion Week certainly looked futuristic--think metallics and extreme eyeliner--but the fashion industry will have to do better than that if it wants to adapt to coming changes brought about by climate change, resource shortages, and population increase. As these factors emerge in the decades ahead, what will happen to the multi-trillion dollar fashion industry? The Forum for the Future explored the question in the Fashion Futures report (PDF), which envisions four sustainable scenarios for the fashion industry in 2025.

    *In Techno-Chic the latest craze is 'Chameleon' clothing, a military spin-off, offering a blank canvas which can change colour and style, programmed to mimic the celeb of the moment. People 'try on' clothes in virtual mirrors using 3-D body scanners.

    *In the Patchwork Planet scenario, clothes are grown from bacterial cellulose and waterless washing machines are common in areas experiencing water shortages.

    *In Slow is Beautiful 'slow fashion' is in vogue, and high street brands compete on sustainability credentials. People also wear 'smart' clothes that monitor their health and wellbeing.

    *In Community Couture the fashion industry is highly entrepreneurial and focused around keeping costs down and reusing clothing.


Fashion research project BioCouture is already working on using lab-grown bacterial cellulose to produce clothing--part of the Patchwork Planet scenario. Eventually the organization hopes to "literally grow a dress in a vat of liquid.

One company to keep an eye on as a model for future "Slow is Beautiful" fashion is Nau, an outdoor clothing company that uses synthetic fabrics with highly-recycled content and certified organic cotton. The company tracks the energy and resources used to make all of its fabrics, and requires manufacturers to follow a code of conduct that addresses human rights, the environment, and full documentation of practices.

All of these scenarios are based on so-called "weak signals from the future", or hints about the future based on current trends and research. For any of these scenarios to come to fruition, clothing companies have to start innovating now. Realistically, no single one of these scenarios will prevail--the future will probably involve some sort of combination of all of them. That means if companies want to succeed, they have to start taking a serious look at supply chains, low-impact production and distribution models, and opportunities to use renewable energy.

19 February 2010

Tavi Gevinson: Playing Hookey at New York Fashion Week

Thai Indian News


Gevinson is an extremely remarkable thirteen year old. She is the author of the well-known blog “Style Rookie” which has caught the eye of some very prominent people in the fashion industry.

This eighth grader from Chicago has become quite the little darling of the fashion industry. When she first created the blog, many in the fashion world thought that it was a fake blog set up by fashion insiders, due to the fact that it was so professionally written. The blog features a breakdown of magazines and and photographs, as well as her daily wardrobe.

Then suddenly, in December, Tavi opened her email to find a letter from none other than Kate and Laura Mulleavy, two sisters who are the minds behind the award winning fashion label “Rodarte.” Tavi says she was extremely excited to find out that they read her blog. This month she is on the cover of Dasha Zhukova’s “Pop” magazine.

Tavi was asked to pick her favorite three shows to cover for Fashion Week in New York, she chose Marc Jacobs, Alexander Wang and Y-3. She has taken the week off from school to report on New York’s Fashion Week. Her dad is a teacher, who was with her everywhere , but waited outside while she went in to each event.

Tavi is there to help take up the slack while Jeanne Beker of FashionTelevison covers the Olympics. “She really loves fashion, and gets it. That’s what’s so great about her,” Beker told the Globe. “I think she’s a breath of fresh air."

16 February 2010

Fashion Industry, Struggling with Size, Realizes Age is Part of the Problem

The Detroit Free Press

The models auditioning for New York Fashion Week were undeniably thin. But it was only after the fashion industry started worrying about too-skinny models that casting agent James Scully began asking their age.

Most, he found, were under 16.

"Things are very seriously wrong at this moment," Scully said.

As another round of runway shows kicked off last week, fashion insiders have again taken up the cause of emaciated models, this time with a new target to blame: youth.

The Council of Fashion Designers of America hosted a panel discussion last week about changing the standard model "sample size," part of the health initiative it started after the death of a model with an eating disorder three years ago.

Spain and Italy adopted mandatory weight guidelines at the time, but the CFDA opted for voluntary measures that put the focus on nutritional and emotional counseling. Since then, some models have been red-flagged and removed from the runway to focus on eating and living well, said CFDA president Diane von Furstenberg.

The recent panel, "The Beauty of Health: Resizing the Sample Size," initially focused on whether increasing the size of sample garments used in fashion shows and magazine photo shoots from 0 to 4 would result in healthier models. But designers, models and agents agreed that part of the problem is the dominance of very young models.
"You can't address the sample size 0 without addressing age," said David Bonnouvrier, head of DNA Models.

Among the CFDA guidelines was a recommendation that models under 16 be kept out of fashion shows, and models under 18 kept out of fittings or photo shoots past midnight. Those guidelines clearly haven't stuck and remain purely voluntary.

The current youthquake happened as runway tastes moved from Brazilian bombshells like Gisele Bundchen to Russians and Eastern Europeans, such as Natalia Vodianova, who has talked about her weight struggles, Scully said.

When scouts first fell in love with the very angular, narrow Eastern bloc look, those girls were ill-prepared to be away from home in the high-pressure, competitive fashion world, added DNA's Bonnouvrier. Even American models were younger -- 17-year-old Karlie Kloss, for example, did her first round of shows with her dad by her side.

Designer Zac Posen traced the problem to Kate Moss back in the early '90s, and said it could take a long time to erase the cultural impression of the waif.

It's natural for a 13- or 14-year-old to be slim, have a small bust and hips that measure no more than 33 inches, but as those models age -- to all of 18 or 19 -- they will do "terribly dangerous things" to fight nature and their increasingly womanly bodies, Scully said.

Model Doutzen Kroes, 25, is a Victoria's Secret Angel but says her fashion-show work has slowed to almost nothing. The reason? She's too big.

"I'd love to do shows but I don't fit in the sample size," she said in an interview after the panel.

The Dutch native started her modeling career at 18, and was constantly told she was pretty but "needed to lose a few pounds," she recalled. But she looked in the mirror and liked what she saw, and made the decision to work with her agent to make her curvy figure an asset -- hence a brand like Victoria's Secret.

12 February 2010

Alexander McQueen, Fashion Designer, Dead at 40

Washington Post

The death of designer Alexander McQueen strikes at the fashion industry's creative core, not because he had the most lucrative business or because he launched the greatest number of trends that trickled down to suburban malls. Instead, McQueen represented the kind of volatile imagination that transforms clothes into a cultural tapestry, intensely personal therapy and political provocation.

The British designer, who was found dead Thursday in his London home, was 40 years old. The death was an apparent suicide. It had been a long time since he'd been considered an enfant terrible. But he, more than any of the 20-something designers working today (who like to consider themselves subversive), was able to use fashion as a tool for agitating folks out of their preconceived notions about femininity, power and even romance. Over the course of a career that lasted more than 15 years, he tackled the social impact of body-cloaking chadors, the stigma of disability, the role of technology in dehumanizing our lives, the historical subjugation of women and even the way in which modern women sometimes allow themselves to be victims -- sometimes of society and sometimes of fashion.

McQueen was able to back up his flamboyance, his audacity and his sometimes irascible personality with the impeccable tailoring that he learned during his early apprenticeship on Britain's Savile Row. McQueen was not merely flash and petulance. He was substance, too.

His career took him from Savile Row to the corporate boardrooms of LVMH Mo√ęt Hennessey Louis Vuitton, where he served as creative director of Givenchy. But in 2000, he defected from the French firm and joined Gucci Group, which bought a controlling interest in his signature label. McQueen retained creative control and under the guidance of Gucci Group's chairman Domenico de Sole, he seemed to flourish.

McQueen's death comes just as designers in New York have begun unveiling their fall 2010 collections. McQueen was scheduled to show his line in Paris in March.

11 February 2010

Tyra Banks Announces Teen Plus-Size Model Competition

iVillage


Tyra Banks announced Monday that she is creating a new plus-sized modeling competition for teens, which she's calling Tyra’s Fiercely Real Teen Model Search. The talk show host and former model, 36, is on a search for aspiring models age 13-19 and between 5′ 9" and 6′ 1".

“I’ve always felt it was my mission to expand the narrow perceptions of beauty; through America’s Next Top Model, True Beauty and The Tyra Show I challenge industry and universal standards by featuring and celebrating non-traditional beauty, and stressing that true beauty is both inside and out,” Banks says of her new venture. “Plus-sized tends to have a negative connotation and I want young girls to realize that what’s considered plus-sized is the average American woman. That woman is healthy, fit and beautiful. Adolescence is such an impressionable time in a young woman’s life, and I hope this contest helps teen girls discover their own beauty from the inside out.”

The winner of the competition will get a one-year contract with Wilhelmina modeling agency, a magazine cover and more. If you're interested in entering -- or know someone who is -- check out tyrashow.warnerbros.com for more info!

10 February 2010

Tyra Banks' New Judge Brings Fashion Street-Cred to 'Top Model'

iVillage

 
Some think Andre Leon Talley’s upcoming stint on Tyra Banks’ America’s New Top Model is going to be a little surreal -- like finding a real Louis Vuitton bag in a street vendor’s cache.

Talley is a bigwig at Vogue, an industry insider who holds real fashion-world clout. As for America’s New Top Model? While its ratings are fat, its fashion-industry credibility is skimpy. Can you name a single winner who has ever gone onto real modeling success? Our point exactly.

According to the Huffington Post, Talley joins Banks for the shows 14th cycle, despite efforts by Anna Wintour, Vogue’s editor in chief, to keep the lauded glossy -- and its stylish editorial team -- from co-mingling with reality TV.

According to Talley, 60, Banks first approached him about being a judge on the show about eight years ago. "At that point, I said no because it was the beginning,” he told Women’s Wear Daily. “I was thinking I wanted to see where it goes.” But thirteen cycles later, even though he still hadn't seen the show, he agreed to a stint, believing that "maybe I could contribute something to it that had not been on the show. I just felt that it was a way to step out of the box and associate myself with a very important American success story, a very important brand.”

It’s a move that Talley seemed primed to make. Last summer, he crossed the line into TV by judging a Miss Universe pageant. But Talley could very well be onto something. Consider a recent Huffington Post poll that asked readers if an ANTM gig was beneath Talley: Some 67% of respondents believed that it was “smart of Vogue to finally do some reality TV.”

Interesting, too, is Banks’ pursuit of Vogue’s editor-at-large for ANTM. Now that the former model, 36, is wrapping up The Tyra Show, her daily talk show, perhaps she’s focusing her efforts on her big money-spinning programs. Recruiting a weighty style arbiter such as Talley could end up helping Banks to discover a model who could actually land an elite magazine cover, and not just fade away into reality TV obscurity.

08 February 2010

Forever Victoriana

San Francisco Chronicle

Fashion's fascination with Victoriana never fades away. From Karl Lagerfeld to Zac Posen, from Japan to New York, ruffles and lace are very much with us. On his fall 2009 runway, Posen played with high necklines, puffed shoulders, lavenders and grays; and lace-up boots from Alexander Wang and Bottega Veneta are as current as today's date. For his fall 2009 Chanel show, Lagerfeld created frilly white and black chiffon detachable cuffs and collars that were an immediate hit and were nearly impossible to obtain once they hit the stores.
L'Wren Scott bolero, $2,495, Stella McCartney eyelet blouse, $995, Barneys. Juicy Couture black chain necklace, $98, Bloomingdale's San Francisco. Silver and chrysoprase pigeon claw ring, $382, Paxton Gate, San Francisco. Christian Louboutin red suede boots, $1,195, Barneys. Plaid skirt and black petticoat rented from the American Conservatory Theater.

Young Japanese hipsters love lots of frills and lace, an integral part of the "Lolita" look, which, despite the provocative name, is less come-hither teenager and far more evocative of a young girl circa 1860. Hollywood checked in this holiday season with two big Victorian-era movies: "The Young Victoria," the lush mid-1800s costume drama starring Emily Blunt, and "Sherlock Holmes," set in London in 1891, starring Robert Downey Jr.

There's a lot to like about the fashions of that era; thankfully, we've gotten beyond the constricting corsets, top-heavy hats, boned bodices and bustles, but there's no arguing with a beautifully cut tweed jacket for him or an exquisite lace blouse for her.

"The clothes are so detail oriented - people just love them," says John Hadeed, co-owner of Torso Vintage in Union Square, which carries authentic Victorian garments.

Incorporating elements into your existing wardrobe can be as simple as adding a cameo brooch to a blouse or a large oval locket on a long gold chain. Or wear lots of black: The Victorians took death very seriously, with elaborate mourning rituals and clothing, and were fascinated by curiosities such as taxidermy and skulls. Victorian-like baubles, both romantic and macabre, are plentiful at the flea market, and estate jewelry stores carry the real deal, as does Barneys New York, which sells the Olivia Collings line of antique jewelry. You can find the real silks and velvets of the era at Torso.

"Most everything from that era is trimmed with jet beads, lace, braids or ruffles," says Hadeed. "That's what Victoriana is all about."

Take a ruffled Victorian top and pair it with skinny jeans or a pencil skirt for a modern take, he says. "There's a tribe of people who love Victorian clothes," Hadeed says. "There's just something about it."

07 February 2010

India and Spain Fashion Week 2010

San Francisco Chronicle
 
Spain sends shivers down a fashionista's spine with sultry Flamenco styles by Pilar Vera, Lourdes Bermejo, and Esperanza Gomez during the International Flamenco Fashion Show in Seville, Spain. Meanwhile, India showcases embellished, brightly colored dresses by Swapnil Shinde, Arshi Jamal, and Ishita Singhand during the opening day of Bangalore Fashion Week in Bangalore, India. Both events give inspiration to those who want to spice up their spring and summer wardrobe.


05 February 2010

'Fat Acceptance': Women Embrace the F-word

ABC News
85 Pounds Later, Plus-Size Model Crystal Renn Is Happier and Healthier

The annual cavalcade of unattainable fashions modeled by women with even more unattainable bodies began in New York City this month; fashion season is officially in full swing.

Every year, one model dominates headlines, and this year that model is Crystal Renn. Renn has that exotic sort of beauty loved by fashion photographers. She's been photographed by the best of them and has been featured in Vogue magazine, the Bible of high-fashion, six times.



But Crystal Renn is not the typical model. She is several sizes bigger than other top models.

"I'm a size 12," she said proudly. In her timely autobiography, "Hungry," Renn describes her crushing introduction to modeling at just 14 years old.

"I had to lose about 10 inches off of my hips," she said. "Doesn't sound like that much when you are 14 years old. But I realized later that, you know, because of those 10 inches, I almost lost my life."

She struggled with anorexia for two years, losing 85 pounds (over three years) and whittling down her 5-foot-9 inch frame to a perilously thin 95 pounds. "I didn't feel beautiful at all because how can you?" she said. "I was so detached from my body to the point where I would look in the mirror and see something that's not real."

But at 16, with her hair falling out and her skin turning grey, she got a modeling agent. And even after she lost 85 pounds, she didn't become the cover girl the magazine editors had promised she'd be.

"All the promises that were for me didn't come true," she said. "They weren't happening. I was very unsuccessful. Yeah, sure I was doing a lot of editorials but I wasn't doing the American Vogue that I wanted to be."

Renn says her body was so out of whack, the weight started coming back with the tiniest bit of food.

"I had two roads in front of me," said Renn. "I said, 'OK, I can starve myself and continue what I am doing. Or I can probably die.' I decided I am going to be healthy, I am going to be voluptuous because that's what I am supposed to be."

'Fat Acceptance'


It was only when Renn let the diet go that she got her dream back -- a contract with industry leader Ford Models and, in 2004, that elusive American Vogue spread, shot by acclaimed photographer Stephen Meisel.

"I finally did get work with the people I had been aspiring to work with since I was 14," she said.

Renn also models for plus-size brands, such as Lane Bryant, and she has her curves to credit. Without knowing it, her decision to gain the weight back makes her part of a growing movement called "fat acceptance."

"It's trying to argue that we need to accept natural body diversity, that diets don't work, that all of the research shows that trying to lose weight and keep it off is fruitless for most people," said Kate Harding, a blogger and author of "Lessons From the Fat-o-Sphere." "And we need to stop demonizing fat people and start accepting ourselves in the bodies that we have."

While medical research has drawn links between obesity and disease, Harding points out that weight is not always an indicator of health.

The Size Acceptance Movement


"There's a substantial amount of information suggesting that the obesity crisis is not all it's hyped up to be, that the dangers associated with fat itself are, in fact, way overblown. There are fat fitness instructors, there are fat people who do aerobics, who do cycling, who run triathlons," said Harding.

Celebrities from Oprah to former tennis phenomenon Monica Seles have proclaimed the merits of accepting yourself for your size.

The Internet is bulging with blogs and support groups with women boasting that fat is "flabulous." In the size acceptance movement, "fat" has become like the b-word in the feminist movement.

"I grew up learning that fat was a dirty word," said Harding, "that fat was something that I didn't want to be. It's a matter of reclaiming the word from all those negative connotations."

Model Crystal Renn is hardly fat. At size 12, she is still thinner than the average American woman, who wears a size 14.

"I say voluptuous," she said. "That's what I feel comfortable with and that's what I am. Everyone has their different word and if you say it with a positive meaning, more power to you."

The idea is also showing up on television, where the lifetime sitcom "Drop Dead Diva" has become a breakout hit among women.

The show's main character is a former model who died in a car crash and was reincarnated as a smart, likeable, but larger attorney, played by actress Brooke Elliott.

"To me, the message is that everyone is beautiful," said Elliott. "You don't have to be a size 0 to be beautiful, to know your worth, to know how gorgeous you are and to act accordingly, you know."

Women Should 'Know Their Worth'

In the face of shows like "The Biggest Loser" and "Dance Your Ass-off," the "Drop Dead Diva" heroine eventually choose to lose her self-loathing, instead of the pounds.

For Elliott, the lead role is a vast improvement over the days when she was cast as the sugar bowl in Broadway's "Beauty and the Beast." But in Hollywood, being a plus-size actress -- even a great looking one -- can still be cruel.

"It doesn't hurt my feelings as much as it shows me how much further we have to go," said Elliott, "It takes a while to transition and I think our society as a whole is craving a transition."

Or maybe they're just falling in line with reality. More than 60 percent of American women are considered overweight, but are they, perhaps, the new "normal"?

"There are all these stereotypes that fat people are in denial, that we're ignorant, that we just don't know about good nutrition," said Harding. "That's just not the case. I don't think anybody else should get to tell me what is over the natural weight for my body."

Flipping through the September issue of Vogue, Renn says she is starting to see change. "What a perfect person to put on the cover, Charlize Theron. So comfortable in her body," she said.

Renn says she no longer struggles to fit onto the page. In fact, some of the pages are adjusting to fit her.

03 February 2010

Barbie Executive Joins Jones Apparel

The Wall Street Journal


Richard Dickson, the general manager credited with making Mattel Inc.'s Barbie doll brand fashionable again, is leaving the toy maker for a position that puts him in line for a shot at chief executive of New York clothing manufacturer Jones Apparel Group Inc.

Mr. Dickson, 41 years old, next week will join Jones Apparel as president and chief executive of its branded businesses. The position makes him responsible for all of the company's retail and wholesale operations, which generated $3.6 billion in revenue in fiscal 2008. He will report to Jones's current chief executive, Wesley Card, who dropped president from his own title but said in a telephone interview he will stay on as chief executive "for many years to come."

"The best succession planning is not when you do it when you're ready to retire in a week—it's when you are still committed to an active role in the business," said Mr. Card, 62 years old.

The appointment comes as Jones is seeking to expand its reach following an industry shakeout that diminished the clout of many competitors. Mr. Dickson, who prior to joining Mattel spent a decade at Macy's Inc.'s Bloomingdale's, said he was drawn to Jones's portfolio of brands including Nine West and Anne Klein. "Ultimately, I am a brand guy," he said.

Mr. Dickson's departure deprives Mattel of an important talent. The toy maker posted improved profits in the fourth quarter in part due to renewed strength in its Barbie line. The dolls were among Mattel's best sellers over the holidays, rising 12% compared with a 1% increase in revenue for the company overall. In a conference call to discuss the results Friday, Mattel CEO Robert Eckert proclaimed, "Barbie is back."

Gerrick Johnson, toy analyst at BMO Capital Markets, said that under Mr. Dickson's leadership the 2009 Barbie line "looked sharper, the fashion looked better, and the packaging looked better this year than in the recent past. The challenge is how to keep the momentum going."

Mr. Dickson said, "Mattel has a wonderful talent pool and a robust succession plan." In a statement, Mattel said the brand will now fall under the purview of Tim Kilpin, who was named a general manager and senior vice president for Mattel brands, a job that encompasses Hot Wheels and Matchbox toys, other girls' brands, plus entertainment. Mr. Kilpin ran the Barbie division earlier in the decade as it sales began to slide. 

Mattel tapped Mr. Dickson, a 10-year veteran of the company, to revive the flagging Barbie brand in 2008, when the brand was stymied by upstarts such as the Disney Princess line and MGA Entertainment Inc.'s Bratz doll. Barbie accounted for $1.3 billion in annual revenue last year, down from $1.9 billion earlier in the decade.

Mr. Dickson and his team decided to return the doll to its fashion-icon roots, creating a line of six new Fashionista Barbie dolls clad in stylish clothes and featuring 12 moveable joints.

02 February 2010

Lysacek Teams up with Fashion Designer, Skating Fan Vera Wang

USA Today
Mid-February is Fashion Week in New York City and clearly the organizers did not have the Olympics in mind when they scheduled Vera Wang's show on Feb. 16.

That night the men's short program will be held in Vancouver and Wang would love to be there. "My fashion show is at 11 (a.m.) and we all know that won't start until 11:30, if we're lucky depending on the show before me, I'm trying my best," she says. "I would love to be there to root him on and watch a sport that I so love."

Him would be Evan Lysacek who hopes to win the first gold medal for the U.S. men in 22 years. Wang, once an elite figure skater herself, designed Lysacek's costumes.

She won her first regional championship at 12 and twice competed at the U.S. Championships, placing fifth in 1968 in junior pairs. Last year she was inducted into the U.S. Figure Skating Hall of Fame for her work designing costumes for Nancy Kerrigan and Michelle Kwan.

Wang returned to the ice last fall when she met with Lysacek at a New York City rink to begin work on his costumes. She thought she would have until last month's nationals to finish them. "I thought, 'Oh, I can just coast around here, we don't have to have it done until January.' And he said, 'No I need the costumes two weeks from now.' So we moved into real freak-out mode."
That day on the ice, Lysacek was wearing a black turtleneck and black pants. "When I saw him in black I said, 'If I could send you in a turtleneck and a pair of pants, that would make me really happy.'"

"He has a line, he would probably admit that it's harder to rotate and do jumps than for guys who are shorter and more compact. But he has a beautiful line and he's learned to use that line and I think he was very conscious of me wanting to preserve that line."

The costumes for both programs are black, "a sleek and sexy color," he says. "It was exciting and really cool that she took so much interest and really took pride in this project and took it on full steam."

This was Wang's vision for both costumes:

• For the short program, skating to Firebird by Stravinsky:

"The obvious way to go would have been red with orange flames. I so didn't want Firebird to be literal. I wanted Firebird for him to be modern and sophisticated. It's so incredibly dramatic. The choice he made to skate to that said volumes about him.

"To see Evan take the courage and desire to grow as an expressive skater I think was very, very brave and very hard to do in eight months. That's the biggest change in him. I don't know what prompted him, whether it was emotional growth or courage because he won worlds, it takes a lot of courage to let go in anything, even in fashion.

"To be able to let go and say 'I really want to do what I want to express, not do what I think I should do.'

"The short program costume that he wore in nationals, which came directly out of ready-to-wear, was all silk, multilayered and curved around his body. It was really to be looked at as he moves around. Skating is a circular sport. They are always moving. I wanted to get the idea of wrapping his body in fabric.

"Simple, simple pants but with a seam down the front, like men's pants, so it gave it a little toughness. We wanted him close to that black turtleneck idea as possible."

• For the long program, skating to Rimsky-Korsakov's Scheherazade:

"The costume he wore at nationals was there to show his body. There was a cage around his shoulders, that's really all there is to say, except the workmanship is unbelievable.

"I have no idea what he's going to wear at the Olympics. He's worn all of them at least once. No skater goes into the Olympic year without wearing their costume once. The costumes are not about Vera Wang. They are about me translating Evan Lysacek.

I'm there hopefully to bring creativity but we worked together. This was Evan Lysacek pushing Vera Wang also."

01 February 2010

Dutrey's to Collect Shoes for Haiti Earthquake Survivors

The Sentinel Online

Soles4Souls and Dutrey’s Shoes have joined forces to bring shoes to victims of the devastating earthquake in Haiti.

According to a news release, Dutrey’s Shoes will help collect footwear to support Soles4Souls’ commitment to donate more than 250,000 pairs of shoes to affected areas.

Through February 28, customers at Dutrey’s Shoes can drop off a “gently worn” pair of shoes. All donations will directly support relief efforts. Shoes will be collected at Dutrey’s Shoes at 290 E. Pomfret St. in Carlisle

In addition to directly helping those in Haiti, Dutrey’s Shoes will be offering a $5 savings certificate for each pair of shoes donated and up to $15 towards the purchase of new footwear in their store.

Soles4Souls has partnered with Operation Compassion, a charity that mobilizes support for victims of natural disasters around the world, to transport and distribute the aid. Thirty containers of supplies, including work boots, baby shoes, children’s athletic shoes and clothing items, are already en route to Haiti.

“We can use the shoes taking up space in your closet to change the world one pair at a time,” said Wayne Elsey, founder and CEO of Soles4Souls, Inc. in the news release. “We need our partners in Pennsylvania to ‘step up’ and get behind our call for action. It’s one of the most simple yet profound gifts you can make, because it will greatly improve someone’s life in the most difficult of times.”
The death toll in Haiti continues to rise, and survivors and rescuers are facing dire health conditions, including stifling heat, lack of clean water, broken glass and raw sewage.

“There are hurting people throughout the world,” said John Dutrey, owner of Dutrey’s Shoes, “and shoes provide protection, comfort and relief. We all have several pairs in our closet that we can share with the less fortunate.”

For more information on how to get involved with this shoe drive and take advantage of the discount, contact Dutrey’s Shoes at 249-4839.

Soles4Souls is a Nashville-based charity that collects and distributes shoes free of charge to people in need, regardless of race, religion, class, or any other criteria. Since 2005, Soles4Souls has given away over 5.5 million pairs of new and gently-worn shoes.

The kids shoes have been distributed to people in over 125 countries, including Kenya, Thailand, Nepal and the United States.