Handbags, glad rags and helping hands

http://www.thejakartapost.com/news/2010/03/10/handbags-glad-rags-and-helping-hands.html

Sara Veal

To assist Indonesia’s disadvantaged children, Jakarta’s most fashion-savvy women are urging fellow trendsetters to empty their closets of sartorial treasures, as well as donate any other quality goods, from Harry Potter to homewares.

Under the direction of Svida Alisjahbana, president director of Femina Group, the Young Presidents’ Organization-World Presidents’ Organization (YPO-WPO), a global leadership organization, have teamed with CLEO, Grazia and Jakarta International School (JIS) students to host a vintage charity sale at the fourth edition of Brightspot, a temporary market of all things cool, from March 11 to 14, at Pacific Place Mall.

All proceeds from the sale will be donated to Yayasan Emmanuel (YE), a foundation initiated by a former JIS student that provides support, nurture, education and healthcare access to less fortunate communities in Indonesia.

“YPO is an organization that helps young leaders – under 50 – to become better leaders. We exchange information, we bring in professors from Harvard Business School, sometimes we invite ministers to stimulate business dialogue. But we also have kids, and we thought it would be fun for our kids to be exposed to entrepreneurship,” Svida explains.

“Brightspot has a very entrepreneurial, indie spirit, so I’d love the YPO youth to participate and see the shape of how things are at Brightspot. So I came up with the idea, how about we all get together and put things together? Let’s have a vintage sale where we select all the best things.”

Chris Kerrigan, one of Brightspot’s co-founders, felt the venture would fit in well at the unique retail event, which aims to gather local designers, artists and retailers to showcase their products along side major international brands, and expects to attract at least 15,000 visitors.

“Vintage shopping isn’t that popular here, but we think it’s a great way to find cool clothing, accessories, and whatever else.”

Svida called on Katya Kamdani, a JIS student and YPO-Youth activist, to curate the sale and decide how to channel the funds.

“I was in the Emmanuel’s club [at JIS] for a while and they were really about helping children, so I thought it would be a cool idea to give his yayasan [charity] the money,” Katya says.

YE chairwoman Esther Witjaksana was “honored and excited to be receiving the generous support from the YPO Vintage Sale fundraiser at Brightspot”.

“The funds will be used to set up and further develop our Learning Center for disadvantaged children. Hundreds of children will have access to the center and with a better education will obtain a brighter future,” she said.

In the past two weeks, JIS students have helped gather donations through emails to the YPO network and Blackberry broadcasts. Katya has also arranged for classmates to man the stands at Brightspot market.

Hundreds of donations have so far poured in, mainly fashion items like bags, coats, suits and shoes, from brands including Burberry, Chanel, Prada, Armani, Gucci, Ferragamo, Dior, Luella, Miu Miu, Fiorucci, and DKNY. Other donations include a range of art, books, furnishings and toys.

“We even got a trampoline!” Katya laughs.

The vintage clothes have been priced at a fraction of their value by Herlina “Ein” Halid, deputy chief editor at CLEO, Margeretha Untoro, CLEO’s fashion & beauty Editor and Varinnia Wibowo, Grazia’s fashion & beauty Editor, all sophisticated women who turned into kids on Christmas Day as they peered into boxes of donations at Katya’s house last Saturday, pulling out unexpected delights.

“When you open a box, you don’t know who the person is. But as you see their collection, as you see two or three things of theirs, you will learn what their personal style is,” says Ein, as she showed off a pearly white Chanel bag, followed by a red Gucci bag, both with clean lines and a geometric shape.

“[This person] loves minimal design… One box was full of bohemian style. Long dresses, her bags had stones on them and so many colors,” she says, adding the white Chanel would probably be priced at Rp 3 million, higher than the other items due to its classic style, rarity and condition.

Ein recommends vintage as a smart way of keeping stylish, as you can buy “the classics that people wouldn’t be able to find otherwise”.

“[Buying vintage] extends the life cycle of the products… you can reuse it time after time without buying new things.”

Katya admits she is still getting used to the concept of vintage, but has been coming around, especially through her curation of the sale.

“Some of the stuff is really pretty! I really want to keep it… this is torture,” she says, adding it might even top the difficulties she has encountered in organizing the sale and drumming up donations.

The team has creative plans for their Brightspot stall.

“Every day, people at Brightspot market can expect to see something new, something surprising. Every day we’ll have a special offer, like there’ll be a Burberry pink bag at only Rp 1 million and the next day we’ll have another classic bag on offer,” Ein says.

The editors will be on hand to dispense free fashion advice.

“We’ll be there from day to night!” Margaretha says.

To achieve Rp 100 million the team hopes to raise for YE, however, more donations are needed. A drop has been installed at Pacific Place and items can also be sent to the Femina office or delivered directly throughout Brightspot market.

“All of the donations will be sorted, and the items of value will be put out. All of the other items will be donated directly to the charity,” Kerrigan says.

As well as donations and a shopaholic attitude, Svida invites further youth to get involved by working on the stall, which she promises would be fun and rewarding.

“Fun, because the kids are selling in Brightspot. Rewarding, because the sales go towards a good cause.”

Brightspot Market

Opening Party: March 11, 2010
(invitation only), 5.30 p.m. – 11 p.m.
Open for public: March 12-14, 2010,
11 a.m. – 11 p.m.
Pacific Place Mall
Ground Floor, South Lobby
Contact: info@brightspotmarket.com
http://brightspotmarket.com
If you’re interested in getting involved in the sale, please contact Svida Alisjahbana’s assistant Vesalina at 021 527 5555. Donations can be sent to Femina Group, PT Gaya Favorit Press, Jl. H. R. Rasuna Said Kav. B 32-33, dropped off at Pacific Place or throughout the Brightspot event.

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