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Fashion Girls for Japan Holds Sample Sale to Benefit Earthquake Victims


Published: Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Updated: Wednesday, April 25, 2012 01:04


Courtesy of Mika Kinyono/The Ram


Courtesy of Mika Kinyono/The Ram


As the world watched footage from the deadly earthquake and tsunami of the Great East Japan Earthquake last March, many found unique ways to respond and help contribute to the long process of rebuilding entire cities and communities.

Right after last year's tragedy, Fashion Girls for Japan was conceived by Kyoko Kageyama of 3.1 Phillip Lim. Along with Kikka Hanazawa, president of VPL, Tomoko Ogura, Fashion Director Women’s Co-op at Barney’s New York, and Fashion Girls for Japan held a sample sale to raise funds for the earthquake and tsunami relief.

With donations from designers like Alexander Wang, Prabal Gurung, Thakoon and Diane von Furstenberg, Fashion Girls for Japan’s first sale raised about $275,000 in just two days.

Fashion Girls for Japan held its second annual sample sale on March 31 and April 1this year. It served as a reminder that there is still much to be done and much help is still needed in the devastated areas of northeastern Japan.

Over 80 brands, ranging from Marc by Marc Jacobs and Jil Sander to 3.1 Phillip Lim and Theory, donated more than 2,900 units of merchandise to be sold for 50 percent of the retail price. With the addition of menswear and jewelry this year, racks of products lined the Bowery Terrace at the Bowery Hotel located in the Lower East Side.

Customers paid a $5 admission fee for entry to the sample sale. All profits from both the products and tickets benefited Japan Society’s Japan Earthquake Relief Fund and Home for All Foundation by KISYN. Home for All Foundation by KISYN was founded by a group of renowned Japanese architects including Toyo Ito, Riken Yamamoto, Hiroshi Naito, Kengo Kuma and Kazuyo Sejima, with the mission of building communal spaces for people without homes.

 During the two days, the sample sale drew approximately 1,000 people looking to support Japan and find amazing designer pieces for a fraction of the retail price. Some of the key products donated by designers included pixilated Native American inspired Proenza Schouler pants straight off the runway from the fall 2011 collection, beautiful winter jackets from Acne and basic cotton shirts from Rag & Bone. By Sunday afternoon, the racks were looking sparse, showing the success of the event. This year, the sample sale raised $140,000.

As time passes, the images of the catastrophe that struck Japan fade away, and it is easy to forget that rebuilding after the earthquake and tsunami will be a process that will take years. Fashion Girls for Japan is planning to organize the sample sale every year, hoping to continuously support Japan’s earthquake reliefs through fashion. 

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