Donna Karan spent some time in Haiti after the country’s devastating earthquake in 2010, so she was moved to base her latest advertising campaign there. “Bringing awareness to Haiti has become a personal passion,” said Karan in a release. “For Spring, it was also my creative inspiration, bringing my two worlds together. This campaign, shot in Jacmel, infuses the vibrant spirit of Haiti into a sexy New York sophistication.” It’s too bad then, that the designer decided to employ the country and its citizens as merely representations of “otherness,” as evidenced by this shot featuring supermodel Adriana Lima (whom Karan says “shows the heart and soul of Haiti”).
In the shot, Lima looks straight on to the viewer, and is the subject of the photo, while two Haitians linger, looking off and to the side — reduced to objects in the background. The photo reeks of turning the people and setting of Haiti into merely “exotic” set pieces, like so many other fashion editorials where native peoples are used as colorful props (see also: Vogue’s use of the tired “Out of Africa” trope). Donna, we expected more from you.
When we saw the title of this post, “‘I Put a Spell on You’ Single & Video for Haiti, Feat. Johnny Depp,” we were like, what, our boyfriend can sing? But then we watched the video, and we were like, ah, no. In order to help post-earthquake relief and rescue efforts in Haiti, musicians Nick Cave, Mick Jones, Chrissy Hynde, and Mr. Depp got together to cover the Screamin’ Jay Hawkins track, “I Put a Spell on You.” Cave et al. do the singing, while Depp stands around watching the action, looking like a hot homeless guy, and then busts out his guitar and jams on it a bit. This ain’t your momma’s “We Are the World,” and we like it. [Racked] Keep reading »
The official video for the remake of “We Are The World,” which will benefit victims of Haiti’s earthquake last month, has arrived, to, uh, mixed reviews. I’m all for the charity angle, obviously, so I’m not going to knock it too hard, but the Michael and Janet Jackson split screen is hella cheesy and I have a hard time taking anything seriously that features a Pussycat Doll. Keep reading »
Beyonce has been named the official face of the Council of Fashion Designers of America’s “Fashion for Haiti” knit tee, which (at $25 a pop) will benefit the Clinton Bush Haiti Fund. Buy one: The group’s “Fashion for America” heart T-shirt ended up raising $2 million dollars for the Twin Towers Fund after 9/11. [CFDA] Keep reading »
We’ve all heard the saying, “No good deed goes unpunished” — and that’s proven to be true for 10 Americans who flew down to Haiti after the Jan. 12 earthquake. Recently the Haitian government arrested a group of 10 Americans, most of whom are members of a Baptist congregation in Idaho, as they tried to take 33 children on a bus into the Dominican Republic. Members of the group say they were just trying to help. But Haiti has charged each American with kidnapping, which, if convicted, carries a possible sentence of five to 15 years in prison, and criminal association, which carries three to nine years.
Yikes. International diplomacy incident, anyone? Keep reading »
Oh, that Simon Cowell. Just when Celine Dion, Wyclef Jean, Kanye West, Miley Cyrus and company were feeling all good about themselves for remaking “We Are The World” to raise money for Haiti, Simon releases his celebrity all-star version of “Everybody Hurts.” Jon Bon Jovi, Rod Stewart, Mariah Carey, and many others pitched in to rerecord the REM track. Give it a listen, above. Feel free to play “name that voice” in the comments section. Keep reading »
Scarlett Johansson is the latest celeb to hop on the designs-for-Haiti bandwagon. ScarJo was able to quickly contribute to the cause thanks to her position as a Mango campaign girl and Oxfam ambassador. The result of her efforts: a tote bag design (available Mar. 1) that features an old-fashioned map of Haiti. No need to worry if your purchase profits are being diluted by the fashion corporation: 100 percent of the proceeds will go to Oxfam’s relief fund. [LA Times] Keep reading »
I bet a lot of you are too young to remember when “We Are The World
” first hit the airwaves 25 years ago, in 1985. The single, written by Michael Jackson and Lionel Richie, was recorded by an all-star lineup that crossed music genres and quickly became the biggest-selling single of all time. The proceeds went to famine relief charities in Ethiopia. I was 8 years old when “We Are The World” was released and I was living on an Air Force base in Japan, and even there, I can remember the song playing everywhere
— in stores, on the street, in train stations and airports and bus terminals. It was a world-wide phenomenon. I liked to sing along and pretend I was Cyndi Lauper, one of my favorite childhood idols (second only to Judy Blume).
Keep reading »
There’s a whole lot of philanthropy for Haiti going around these days, which is heart-warming. I guess everyone has their own way of going about things, which is maybe why Chelsea Clinton organized a fundraising spin class at SoulCycle in New York. To get on a bike for the class, participants gave donations ranging from $100 to $1,000, and the proceeds went to The Clinton Haiti Relief Fund. Heck, I know I’d certainly pay a hundo to sweat with Chelsea Clinton. [Healthy Hollywood]
Oh, but Haiti relief efforts get more random … and sometimes questionable. Fortunately, most of them don’t include exercising. Not that I hate exercising. Fine, I totally hate it. Keep reading »