May 1, 2012

Tommy Hilfiger Fetes The Promise Collection in Paris

With rousing live performances from Manu Dibango and Imany, the fashion crowd thronged to Tommy Hilfiger’s Avenue des Champs-Elysées flagship on Thursday night for the Paris launch of “The Promise Collection,” a line manufactured in Africa with proceeds benefiting Millennium Promise, an international non-profit organization that aims to halve poverty in Africa by 2015.

Imany at the Paris launch of the
 “The Promise Collection”
“She’s amazing, she has soul in her voice,” said the night’s host, Yelena Noah, as she took in Imany’s concert in the store's sprawling basement. But she was quick to remind her entourage that the night was not just about entertainment. “It’s amazing. I mean it’s always nice to have a cocktail and to drink Champagne, but it’s important to remember what this is for,” she said. “I really like what they’re doing. It’s not charity just to give, it’s charity to create sustainable development , and Tommy Hilfiger, which is a huge, huge company, is giving 100 percent of the proceeds from the collection, which is quite rare. It’s quite beautiful.”

Noah, who is a jewelry designer, revealed she has a charitable project in the pipeline herself. She is developing a jewelry collection with women from a community in Suriname. “It will be based on their cultural identity, very ethnic looking. But it’s still in the pipeline,” explained Noah, adding that she hopes to launch it in the U.S., where she is based, this fall.(WWD)

Promise Collection cotton shift dress, £110

The Promise Collection, a suite of clothing inspired by designs from various African countries and made from textiles and materials procured from Africa. All proceeds from the collection will go to support Millennium Villages in Ruhiira, Uganda.

Through photos and video, the website features a trip the actress Katie Holmes made to Ruhiira earlier this year. “I was drawn to the project from the moment I heard about it, as its goal is not just to donate funds," she said, "but to give villagers the support they need to create a self-sustaining future.” Holmes was named an ambassador by Tommy Hilfiger and will continue to help raise awareness on the progress being made by the Millennium Villages.

More than a dozen styles of shirts, shorts, dresses and accessories are up for sale in stores across Europe, Mexico, India and the US. You can also purchase on the website which tracks how much will be given through sales and support from Tommy Hilfiger. Items are tagged in different categories based on what the consumer might be interested in contributing to. For example if she was interested in supporting education, she could buy the “Maputo T-Shirt.”

To help inspire people by the progress being made in Ruhiira, a competition using twitter is being held over the next two months while the clothing is available. Consumers are encouraged to tweet how they could help in the fight against extreme poverty, hunger and disease and make change for the better in their own community and abroad. One motivated winner will have the opportunity to travel with Tommy Hilfiger and engage firsthand with communities in Ruhiira. See here for more details.