What Is Fashion For Relief And Why Does It Matter?

BY Harper's BAZAAR U.K. / Sep 5 2019 / 13:26 PM

Naomi Campbell's catwalk show is expected to be London Fashion Week's hottest ticket

What Is Fashion For Relief And Why Does It Matter?

Every season there is one event more hyped than others - the ticket that's the most desirable or elusive - and for spring/summer 2020 that crown belongs to Naomi Campbell's Fashion For Relief show. Scheduled on Saturday 20 September, in the middle of London Fashion Week, the charity fundraiser promises a big star turn-out and a supermodel catwalk. The venue will be suitably impressive - the British Library in Bloomsbury.

For those unfamiliar, what is Fashion For Relief and why is it an important date in the fashion calendar?

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The Fashion For Relief catwalk in Cannes 2018

So, what is it?

Fashion For Relief is a charity set up by Naomi Campbell in 2005, after she was inspired by her mentor and friend, Nelson Mandela, who told her she should use her voice for good. She decided to set up a charitable organisation which united the fashion industry to support humanitarian causes "dedicated to improving the lives of those living in adversity". These have related to the fight against Ebola, relief for those impacted by Hurricane Katrina and the Haiti earthquake. More recently, Fashion For Relief has been working with Save the Children to raise money that provides food, shelter and medical treatment to children around the world, including those who have been affected by the conflict in Syria.

How does it raise money?

Anyone can make a donation through its website, but Fashion For Relief holds regular fashion shows which attract the industry's biggest names. Campbell fully utilises her star address book to enlist famous models and actresses to either walk in the show or attend as a guest. These ticketed events also feature a gala auction, where more money is raised. Shows have previously been held in Cannes, New York, Mumbai and Moscow.

Who usually attends?

Campbell's friends, naturally. Kate Moss, P Diddy, Jane Fonda and Beyoncé are among the most famous to have walked in the show, alongside models such as Bella Hadid, Kendall Jenner, Winnie Harlow and Natalia Vodianova. More unexpected models have included the Duchess of York, Cilla Black and Ronan Keating. Justin Bieber, Gwen Stefani and Uma Thurman have all been spotted cheering from the front row - Campbell's contacts are nothing if not far-reaching.

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Campbell with Beyonce at Veronica Webb at the 2005 Fashion For Relief show

What else happens at the events?

Other than the fashion show, there's a dinner, gala auction and this time round, we can expect a musical performance - although the artist hasn't been revealed. An after-party follows for anyone still keen to make merry.

Can anyone go?

Yes, but you'll need to pay. Members of the public can enquire about booking a ticket or reserving a whole table on the charity's website at Fashionforrelief.org.

From Harper's BAZAAR U.K.