At its best, fashion transcends culture. In many respects, it can serve as a lingua franca, a common language that unites people of varying languages. So when Haiti, a country boasting skilled and dedicated artisans, suffered devastation from a 2010 earthquake, Donna Karan’s Urban Zen Foundation took notice and took action. To cultivate and showcase the designs of Haitian artisans, as well as help these deft designers rebuild their businesses, the Urban Zen Foundation partnered with the CFDA by asking nearly 150 CFDA members to design a one-of-a-kind, paper-mâché heart using their unique design aesthetic.
The hearts are handcrafted by Magali Dresse, a local Haitian artisan, who created a heart-shaped canvas for CFDA members to customize. The CFDA and the Urban Zen Foundation have also partnered with eBay, the arbiter of online shopping, who will auction off the hearts from April 22nd until May 2nd. The designer’s hearts can be bid on online here or by mobile phone through the eBay app. All proceeds will benefit the Haitian Artisan Project, which strives to rebuild Haiti by highlighting its talented artists, creating jobs, promoting economic development, and raising social consciousness.