A couple years ago Erin Dixon, my dear friend and editor at Dossier Journal, stepped away for a moment during New York Fashion Week to attend a seminar with Safe Horizons—an organization that helps women overcome domestic abuse by offering shelter, counseling, and court assistance. Needless to say, that seminar, and the horrific circumstances faced by the women Safe Horizons seeks to help, offered a stark contrast to the colorful excesses of Fashion Week, where we are fond of complaining about aching feet, heavy handbags, and delayed show times.
Rather than shaking her head at the deceptively wide gap between these worlds, Erin thought about how she might bridge it. Many of us involved in Fashion Week are women, after all, and even if we’re not, we’re likely people who believe in the power of beauty, and that at least once in a while, feeling beautiful from the outside in can be transformative. That’s the optimistic spirit Erin applied to Foundation Onda, a new non-profit that seeks to bring some of the joy of fashion and beauty to women in desperate situations. Her first step is by asking Fashion Week sponsors, PR firms, designers, and editors to donate their extra gift bags (those Fashion Week freebies often filled with trendy colors of nail polish, lip gloss, stockings, and such), which Foundation Onda will be distributing with the help of Safe Horizon. I know it might sound like a drop in the bucket, but as Erin wrote on her website: “in desperate situations, something as simple as a tube of lipstick or a bottle of shampoo can provide a moment’s reprieve, allowing a woman’s self-respect and inner strength to reignite.” Partners like Donna Karan, Narciso Rodriguez, and Elizabeth Arden have already signed on.
This season, I’m saving my swag bags for Foundation Onda. If you want to do the same, contact them here.