Love, acceptance and rainbow sequins are always in style, especially at Saks Fifth Avenue.
In honor of the 50th anniversary of the Stonewall riots and WorldPride in NYC, the iconic department store has teamed with more than a dozen designers on a LGBTQ fund-raising capsule, which includes this ROYGBIV bomber by Alice + Olivia. The retailer will donate 30 percent of net proceeds from the collection’s sales to the Stonewall Inn Gives Back Initiative — the legendary Greenwich Village tavern’s nonprofit charitable organization — guaranteeing a minimum donation of $100,000.
The unisex line ranges from a dazzling Judith Leiber Couture rainbow crystal cupcake minaudière to Stella McCartney’s “We Are Open” tee. The products will be available online and in the New York flagship and San Francisco, Beverly Hills, Calif., and Miami stores through the end of this month. Saks’ senior vice president for marketing and digital, Emily Essner, tells Alexa that working on the partnership has been “amazing.”
“We had an overwhelming response from designers when we asked them to be a part of this initiative,” she says. “It speaks volumes about how important this cause is to so many people, even 50 years after the uprising.”
Participating designers also say they’re thrilled to give back via the program.
“So much of what we take for granted today is due to the strength, sacrifices and struggles of previous generations,” notes Balmain creative director Olivier Rousteing, who contributed a rainbow logo shirt. “I am in awe of the audacity of the Stonewall resisters and honored to be a part of this initiative that honors them.”
Jonathan Simkhai, who provided two message T-shirts, seconds that thought. “Not only did it pave the path for my right to get married, but the Stonewall riots changed everything for the LGBT+ community,” says the father of two. “The riots united extremely marginalized groups of drag queens, trans people, gay men, butch and femme lesbians, and homeless gay youth. I couldn’t be prouder to be a part of this project with Saks.”
The collection also features an LGBTQ history book called “PRIDE: Photographs After Stonewall” by Fred W. McDarrah. Images from the tome will appear in the six center windows at the Fifth Avenue flagship through July 3. The book’s cover features a rainbow design, a symbol of diversity echoed on the sneakers and loafers from designer Christian Louboutin.
“The runners represent happiness,” says Louboutin. “I love for people to see hope when looking at their feet.”
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