Last Thursday a few girlfriends and I attended the Global Runway for Literacy, an event hosted by the Fashion Institute of Design and Merchandising for the San Diego chapter of Room to Read. Room to Read is an incredible organization that seeks to transform the lives of millions of children in developing countries by focusing on literacy and gender equality in education.
The fashion tie-in took the form of several models casually strolling about in outfits by local designers. These designers took on the challenge of designing wearable art inspired by the theme of global literacy to celebrate Room to Read’s ten years of success. The T-shirts were auctioned off to the highest bidder with 100% of the proceeds going to Room to Read. In combination with the live auction, the event raised just shy of $20k! This money will be used to create 3 integrated libraries in a school in Asia, print 4,000 copies of local language books and send 16 girls to school for a year.
Most impactful was the inspirational presentation by Room to Read’s CEO and CO-Founder, Erin Ganju, who shared the many successes that have come about through Room to Read’s outreach. Particularly, she cited several statistics about the importance of educating girls and how that can have deep ramifications within local communities. Remarkably, 42% of girls in developing countries are not enrolled in school. Room to Read’s Girls’ Education program currently supports more than 6,800 girls on long-term scholarships and in 2008, 98% of girls in the Girls’ Education program advanced to the next grade.
I chatted briefly with Gordana Gehlhausen (Project Runway, S6) about her decision to make San Diego home (weather, vibe, close enough to LA), and captured a quick interview with my favorite look of the night: (forgive my rather ridiculous camera work – I have no idea what I was thinking, but I was holding about 100 things including a glass of champagne at the time!):
Feeling inspired? Donations may be made online at www.roomtoread.org/SDGala2010 and more photos are available on the PR Couture Facebook Page. Extra special thanks to Karen Baez, Room to Read Volunteer Chapter Co-Leader, for the invite and to photographer Erika V Doria and Llewerentz- Dbjörk for capturing the evening.