i've already mentioned that i'm trying to savor these final weeks of summer before i find myself back at school, hidden away in a library somewhere, trying to finish some essay by five. still, this coming semester won't be all cram sessions and all-nighters. i'm working on a bunch of exciting events and ideas that i can't wait to share with you, one of which is project east (though the website has yet to be updated, you can view some amazing images and press from last year's show).
needless to say, i love fashion. nevertheless, it's undeniably flawed in several ways. for starters, the fashion industry is notoriously tough to break into. despite my annoyed objections, my mother often tries to discourage my industry dreams, likening it to the capricious nature of show business. and if there's one thing i've learned from both the contestants and the winners of project runway, it's that making a profit is also a tough task to accomplish. to add to these difficulties, the business isn't really winning any awards for its egalitarianism lately, as referenced by the current state of the black model. while we're already on the topic, let's throw out a couple of other problems with the industry, shall we? sweatshop labor and the counterfeit goods that it's often responsible for producing are a huge blemish on the industry. oh, and outside of fashion schools themselves, there are limited fashion career opportunities on college campuses, whether in the form of job fairs, internship opportunities, etc.
a little over a year ago, three students, also deeply appreciative of fashion, wanted to address these issues. they came up with project east, a charity fashion show. due to their belief that asian designers' talents have long been underestimated, project east showcases both asian designers and their work. attempting to forge a relationship with the arts locally, this year's proceeds will go to artists for humanity, a boston organization bringing arts opportunities to inner-city youth. such an event serves a dual purpose of providing exposure for designers and introducing a fashion presence to our campus, which in my opinion is sorely needed, in terms of career connections.
and now, expanding project east's mission even further, it now also aims to award scholarships to child laborers in sweatshops and give money to struggling young designers! to help us with these goals, the show's executive producer recently registered project east for funding from american express as part of its members project '08. members project is a contest and discussion forum in which you can submit potential projects that will ultimately make a positive change in the world. in order to receive funding, however, our initiative must be voted into the top 5 (the top-voted will get $1,500,000; 2nd place: $500,000; 3rd place: $300,000; 4th and 5th place: $100,000). which is where you guys come in. if you have an american express card, please, please, please log in and nominate project east! and if you don't have an american express card/don't feel like registering it online, guess what? you can still help! if you click the above link, there's an option for 'guest member sign-up' along the right-hand side, which will allow you to nominate project east as well.
this project and its far-reaching and big-hearted aspirations are very near to my heart, and i'm counting on your help to make our goals a reality. thank you in advance for your support! and i'd like to invite each and every one of you to the show if you're in or around the boston/cambridge area on november 15, 2008! last year's show was phenomenal, and this year's promises to be even better. i'm pretty sure that i'm not allowed to divulge who the contributing designers will be just yet, but i assure you that they are quite talented, to say the least. i'll be sure to keep you guys posted. feel free to contact me with any questions you might have, and thanks again for helping project east become a reality.