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G-Star S/S 09

G-Star takes a stand to end global poverty.

PhotographyMark ReayTextMengly Taing
Fashion is about making a statement, or in the case of G-Star, taking a stand for a good cause. For the many people who stood for the duration of their spring 2009 show at the Park Avenue Armory last night, it was well worth the effort. G-Star and its G-Star Raw Denim Foundation partnered with the United Nations to support the international aid organization’s Millennium Development Goals (MDG), which aim to end global poverty by 2015.

Actors Alan Cumming and Heather Graham opened the event by outlining the eight MDGs, which include combating HIV/AIDS, achieving universal primary education, promoting gender equality and female empowerment as well as environmental sustainability. Following their presentation, journalists, filmmakers, actors, artists, ambassadors and other leaders from around the world caught a glimpse of the luxury denim brand’s spring designs which including the debut of their Correct Line, a capsule collection of classic silhouettes in the form of trench coats, blazers and dress shirts for men and full skirts and jackets for women.

The show coincides with the UN High Level Event on September 25th, a day in which world leaders will be asked to renew their commitment to end global. After the show, guests were invited to stay for the after-party, which was curated by the UN Development Programme. A special room was set aside to with two laptops which allowed visitors to send digital messages to their respective world leaders to encourage their national governments to support the MDGs. Visual representations of the goals were also displayed around the room and handcrafted pieces made from denim and “End Poverty 2015” prints were showcased throughout the venue. DJ Paul Sevigny and the Hypnotic Brass Ensemble supplied music for the evening.

Dazed Digital: What brought about his collaboration between the UN and G-Star?
Saul Shetty (director of UN Millennium Campaign: The main thing that brought us together was timing. In less than two weeks, we have a meting in New York for world leaders as part of the General Assembly of the UN. Secretary General Ban Ki Moon has called for a special meeting to review the progress of the MDGs. The goals were assigned in 2000 and we are at the halfway mark. While we have had important successes in the first half, we do not feel the speed is good enough for us to achieve our goal by 2015.

DD: Why did the UN decide to make a presence during fashion week?
SS: As you know with governments, it’s easy for them to come to the UN and make promises. It’s more difficult for them to actually keep the promise. The only way we believe the promises will be kept is if their own citizens remind them of their promises. We wanted to take these issues to people who don’t normally discuss these issues. Fashion week and G-Star is a good way of taking the message to people who are young and people who are interested, but might not know too much.

DD: When and why did G-Star start its foundation?
Frouke Brouinsma (G-Star corporate social responsiblity manager): The foundation was started in mid-2007 because we would like to support and help the people in the countries where we manufacture. We manufacture in developing countries and decided we wanted to focus on vocational training of children and young people to help them become self-independent. We are also supporting entrepreneurs to help them realize their plans or ideas.

DD: How important is social responsibility fashion now?
FB: Corporate social responsibility (CSR) is very important. We created a dedicated CSR department with the ultimate goal to embed CSR right into the heart of our business, aiming for continuous improvement. Not only the fashion world should stand up, but also we hope that everybody will take action and speak out to reach the goals.
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