Fashion Industry Unites to Help Students

7 May 2021

Lots include a limited-edition sequinned bomber jacket from Hedi Slimane’s debut collection for Celine; a pair of purple flower-shaped earrings by secretive jeweler Joel Arthur Rosenthal, aka JAR, and a visit to Gabrielle “Coco” Chanel’s private apartment on Rue Cambon with brand ambassador Caroline de Maigret.

Poignantly, Alber Elbaz donated a silk pyjama, printed with cartoon figures in his likeness, from his debut collection for his new label AZ Factory. The designer passed away recently at the age of 59 after a battle with COVID-19.

The virtual auction, which is currently running, will benefit Co’p1 — Solidarités Étudiantes, an organisation that helps provide food and other necessities to students in need. Forced to study remotely, and unable to earn money on the side through part-time jobs, many have been struggling with poverty and isolation since the pandemic hit.

Benaïm, known for her definitive biography of Yves Saint Laurent, tapped her high-profile industry contacts for exceptional donations, including an oil painting by Vanessa Seward; a Saint Laurent surfboard signed by creative director Anthony Vaccarello, and a sketch by rising fashion designer Charles de Vilmorin.

In addition to precious objects, the sale offers plenty of one-of-a-kind experiences: going behind the scenes on a fashion shoot with photographer Sonia Sieff; a visit to Belgian couture house Natan’s headquarters in Brussels, and a private lesson with Dior makeup maestro Peter Philips.

There will be no costs for either buyers or sellers in the auction. Last year’s auction benefitted charity SOS EHPAD, a nonprofit organisation that supports the staff of nursing homes for the elderly.

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