Fashion Industry Rallies to Help Students Hit by Pandemic

COME TOGETHER: For the second year in a row, French journalist Laurence Benaïm has rallied the fashion industry around an auction designed to raise funds for those affected by the coronavirus pandemic — and actress Charlotte Rampling is lending a hand by helping to promote the event.

Lots include a limited-edition sequined 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 pajama, printed with cartoon figures in his likeness, from his debut collection for his new label AZ Factory. The designer passed away on Saturday at the age of 59 after a battle with COVID-19. 

A silk pajama designed by Alber Elbaz for his debut AZ Factory collection is among the lots being auctioned online to benefit students struggling with poverty. Courtesy Photo

The virtual auction, to run from May 4 to 11, will benefit Co’p1 — Solidarités Étudiantes, an organization 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. 

A private lesson with Dior makeup maestro Peter Philips is among the lots being auctioned online to benefit students struggling with poverty. Courtesy Photo

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. 

The sales catalogue is available on, and there will be no costs for either buyers or sellers in the auction. Last year’s auction benefitted charity SOS EHPAD, a nonprofit organization that supports the staff of nursing homes for the elderly.

See also: 

Fashion Rallies for French Coronavirus Auction

LVMH’s Philanthropy Arm Donates 5 Million Euros for COVID-19 Research

Kering Ups Its Efforts to Fight COVID-19

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