Retail therapy in support of Facing History? Yes please!
From September 23 - October 2, the online auction Chic Relief will benefit Facing History and Ourselves. I had the chance to chat with Elizabeth Stewart, celebrity stylist, and founder of the online fashion platform.
With her client Cate Blanchett as President of the Jury at the recent Venice Film Festival, Elizabeth arranged for Facing History to be 1 of 2 beneficiaries of the Festival’s advocacy campaign, RAD at Venice. As a result, Facing History was named as an essential organization fighting for racial justice in outlets such as People, British Vogue, and E! Online.
LV: Why did you create Chic Relief? How did you begin?
ES: When the pandemic hit, we went from a staff of five working 24/7 to literally nothing…Everything was canceled. We were left with a feeling of helplessness and my first assistant Jordan Grossman and I decided to do whatever we could. We’re learning as we go, but we managed to raise 100K for Direct Relief in a joint project with eBay over April-May! That was a good start, and our next project is to raise the same amount for Facing History.
LV: Core to Facing History is the notion of being an upstander: someone who chooses to make a difference by speaking out against injustice and creating positive change. We see you creating this space and awareness around racial justice in your industry. Can you speak to the need and opportunity you saw for yourself to make a difference?
ES: Here is one thing about my industry: there are a lot of “do-ers,” people who are used to making things happen. When everyone started quarantining, we were left with a lot of time on our hands but a lot of identified needs. We thought if we could could collectively apply that “do something” attitude, if everyone does what they can, even a little bit, then just maybe we could help effect real change.
LV: What is it about Facing History and Ourselves that resonates with you personally?
ES: My kids are both in college now, but education has always been a huge interest of mine. After George Floyd, I kept hearing from parents with younger kids who were concerned that their schools’ response to the issue was inadequate. They turned to Facing History for help and found it incredibly valuable, not only in addressing the issue at hand, but in revealing the historical roots of racism in the US. This is not something that started last year; it’s been with us since the beginning.
LV: Looking forward, a year from now, where do you hope we’ll be in the movement toward racial justice?
ES: I’m hoping we’ll have an administration in office that fully supports the movement toward racial justice. That would be a great start.
LV: Thank you, Elizabeth, for your support of Facing History and Ourselves and for creating such a dynamic way to engage your community in this important work!
Are you ready to shop to benefit Facing History?
Remember that the online auction Chic Relief will benefit Facing History and Ourselves from September 23 - October 2, 2020.