When the Spring 2011 collection from Perry Ellis hits New York Fashion Week next month, the show will be about more than the latest trends.
The Miami-based sportswear brand will recognize the National Wildlife Federation's Gulf Coast restoration work during its Sept. 13 runway show, and, starting this week, Perry Ellis -- along with the NWF -- launched Project Beach to aid in the BP oil-spill recovery effort.
The goal of the initiative is to raise money and awareness through the company's advertising (Perry Ellis will shoot its Spring 2011 campaign in the Gulf Coast for the first time) and social media networks, in addition to its upcoming fashion show.
"The coast has always been home for the Perry Ellis brand," says Brett Dean, chief marketing officer of Perry Ellis International.
"Whether winter or summer, our creative team takes inspiration from the beach, and as a Miami-based company, we appreciate life on the coast every day. We've also used the beach as a backdrop for our ad campaigns for decades. It's difficult to watch this disaster and not feel compelled to help. With this initiative, we have an opportunity to reach out to our customers and fans to help National Wildlife Federation toward a long-term solution for the Gulf Coast."
One way fans can help is through Perry Ellis's Facebook fund-raiser, in which the first 10,000 new Perry Ellis "Likes" from users will prompt a $1 donation to NWF's Gulf Oil Spill Restoration Fund, a program that supports volunteer teams, restoration of nesting and breeding grounds, and public education about the spill and its impact on wildlife.
"The work to restore the coastal habitats that sustain wildlife and people is just beginning," says Meri-Margaret Deoudes, NWF senior director of corporate relations and special events.
The fashion world is quick to help out in times of need. Here's how a celebrity hairstylist is working to raise money for a children's hospital in Africa.