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Fashion Bands Together for Japan Relief


help japan
Photo courtesy of Signalnoise
A poster by artist James White at Signalnoise to benefit the Japan relief effort.

With the worsening crisis in Japan, the fashion world has responded in its own way to bring aid and raise money for relief efforts.

Uniqlo is sending supplies, including jeans, towels, and 300,000 pairs of its Heattech thermal underwear to those affected by the disaster, in addition to the staggering donation made by the company. Tadashi Yanai, who owns Uniqlo parent company Fast Retailing, has pledged nearly $30 million (including 1 billion yen, or $12.2 million, of his own money).

Anna Dello Russo posted on her blog yesterday about Save Japan, a Web site launched by Tokyo-based luxury consulting company Simone Inc., which organizes the barrage of information (including news updates and ways to help) into one location, while Bergdorf Goodman has updated its Facebook page as a "Charity Navigator," which links to the American Red Cross, Shelter Box, and Doctors Without Borders, and allows visitors to donate directly via their iTunes accounts.

Bergdorf isn't the only company to use social media to help; Luxury Daily reports that brands like Gucci are using their Twitter pages to encourage donations to the Red Cross or Salvation Army, David Yurman is urging donations via its Facebook page, and Coach recently announced on its Facebook page that it made a donation of approximately $5 million to the Japanese Red Cross Society (you can donate there, too!).

Gilt City, meanwhile, has partnered with GlobalGiving.com to encourage donations and matching all profits that its customers donate.

Steven Alan is donating 15 percent of all sales made between today and March 17 to the International Medical Corps, which is currently on the ground in Japan supporting the response efforts and providing supplies.

Rebecca Minkoff has started her own Japan relief initiative, donating $100 for every red handbag purchased on her site to the Red Cross, and Polo Ralph Lauren has created a special polo shirt to support the relief effort (available on ralphlauren.com), with 100% of the proceeds going to the Central Community Chest of Japan, a branch of the United Way network.

Australian designer Pamela Usanto will give Aussie shoppers a chance to help as well: Usanto is selling pieces from her Lumiere collection at her Richmond showroom beginning at noon on Tuesday, with 100 percent of the proceeds going to the Red Cross.

Racked’s Tokyo correspondent encourages supporting the Japanese fashion industry by buying Japanese brands now, and even Lady Gaga has pitched in by designing a charity bracelet, available on her site for $5, with proceeds going to relief efforts.

The art world is pitching in, too. Japanese-American ceramics artist Ayumi Horie has started an eBay auction called Handmade in Japan. The auction starts Friday and will sell pieces to benefit relief efforts. Japanese-American arts collective Made With Japan is selling a series of tees for $35 each (additional donations accepted), with 100 percent of the proceeds going to organizations directly involved with the relief effort, and artist James White has designed a poster based on the Japanese flag, which he's selling to help the cause. (The poster is currently sold out but White is doing a second run.)

Check back here for more charitable initiatives from the fashion world. If you would like to donate directly to a relief agency or help in other ways, the New York Times has a full list of aid and charitable organizations.

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