Designer Donna Karan recently honored her dear friend entrepreneur, philanthropist, and artist Sheila Johnson as the newest 'Woman Who Inspires' at a very private cocktail party at Karan's flagship store. The Madison Avenue event which took place on Wednesday, November 14th supported the Lady Salamanders, a program that is a part of Street Soccer USA (www.streetsoccerusa.org), a national not-for-profit organization whose aim is to end homelessness and poverty through team sport.
Over champagne and canapes, guests were able to shop as well as speak with the inspiring honoree. Johnson, a longtime photographer, expounded on her work as both a designer and photographer sharing a story or two behind her collection of finely printed scarves.*** Johnson expressed that her work allows her to to be able to address societal issues ranging from the beauty of art, and the arts and drama in general, to instances of crises--such as the AIDS epidemic in Uganda. In regards to the thought process of her work Johnson shares "there are areas where I am thinking of the story I want to tell through the lens of my photography." She went on to show one of her beautiful scarves. The particular print bore an image of a boy's motorbike and fish reminding Johnson of a Uganadan boy that was rushed to a clinic to be circumcised to prevent the spread of AIDS in his country. These are meaningful artistic pieces of fashion, intrinsic to Johnson's own experiences and they work.
Distinguished women in attendance included: Philanthropist Susan Fales-Hill, Former Sr. VP of IMG Fashion Fern Mallis, and Essence Magazine Editor-In-Chief Constance White, among others. The exclusive event allowed for an additional 10% of proceeds to benefit the Lady Salamanders.
***-The collection is produced and manufactured in Prato, Italy—just outside of Florence. Made of 100% modal, a natural yarn that results in a smooth, supple, color-fast fabric, each scarf is produced on an old-fashioned wooden loom, digitally printed and then skillfully cut and fringed by hand. With names such as Solace, Joy!, Elina and Felicity, her first collection, titled “Interludes,” uses rich, vivid colors to capture the joy, peace, magnificence and beauty inherent in the natural environment. The collection retails for $475.00
*photos by Thomas Concordia/RunwayResource.net