Freedom Bay St. Lucia Presents LINGERIE NY

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LINGERIE NEW YORK, presented by Freedom Bay St. Lucia, the 5 star eco-luxury resort to benefit Seven Bar Foundation, a microfinance fund that harnesses the power of the sustainable luxury, fashion and beauty industries to microfinance women’s businesses, enabling self-sufficiency – giving a hand UP, instead of a hand OUT. Featuring Atsuko Kudo (worldwide runway debut), Carine Gilson (celebrating her 20th anniversary) and the “Y” panty launch. Other highlights include a “Hennessy Black” bespoke corset designed by Dara Young. Partners include Freedom Bay St. Lucia, Accion USA, Fusion Beauty, Hennessy Black and Royal Asscher.

Seven Bar Foundation is proud to launch its first LINGERIE NEW YORK couture fashion show and Gala on October 21, 2010 at Cipriani 42nd St, presented by Freedom Bay St. Lucia, the 5 star eco-luxury resort and residences. The Foundation re-directs the power of the sustainable luxury, fashion and beauty industries to fuel microfinance, empowering women and enabling self-sufficiency -- giving a “hand UP, not a hand OUT.” Raising funds through a series of couture lingerie shows throughout the world (Miami, London, Paris, etc.), the Foundation's Lingerie New York is a paradigm for a new philanthropic approach to reach a critical mass of consciousness and for social impact and change.

High profile designers Carine Gilson (celebrating her 20th anniversary) and Atsuko Kudo (worldwide debut) will feature custom made collections for the runway, detailing the finest in silk, lace and latex lace. Elsa Benitez, Carmen Busquets, Coralie Charriol, Cristina Cuomo, Selita Ebanks, Jeanbart-Lorenzotti, Miranda Kerr, Lisa Seiffert and Crystal Wren are just a few fierce female supporters who elevate awareness for the cause with over 40 runway models showing their "inner armor," signifying women‟s empowerment. The familiar faces of Deepak Chopra, Amanda De Cadenet, Minnie Driver and Michelle Rodriquez (spinning tunes) will welcome guests and Veronica Webb will walk the runway for the first time in 5 years in a bespoke LED lit Hennessy Black corset designed by Dara Young, under the new LVMH initiative -- the Design House of Hennessy. This much anticipated show and gala will bring out top editors, fashion insiders, tastemakers, business titans and philanthropists in support of microfinance, including AOL Time Warner‟s Richard Bressler, Laura Brown, Sante D’Orazio, Eva Hughes, BET‟s Bob Johnson, Congressman Meeks, Tinsley Mortimer, George Ortiz, Stewart Rahr, Lucy Sykes Rellie and Euan Rellie, Lillian Stern, Tracy Stern, Arden Wohl and more.

Other highlights include the launch of the Foundation's new panty line – “Y”. The sentiment behind the brand stems from a conversation with Deepak Chopra where he raised the point that when people are about to do something naughty, the response is "why not?" The design of the panty is a "love knot" -- a witty style with a heart at the center of a g-string. 15% of all sales from the “Y” line will benefit the Fund. Inspired by the “Y” line, one might ask “why not make the walk of shame, the walk of fame?” and “why not save the world on a g-string, rather than a shoestring?”

Renata Mutis Black, the Foundation's director and Kim Hoedeman, its Sherriff, are committed to developing a blueprint for philanthropy that moves away from a donor-reliant model and offers an economic incentive in consumer retail through cause marketing. The ladder in the trademarked Lingerie shows and in the Foundation‟s logo symbolizes an alleviation tool out of poverty - extending ladders to women. Black comments, “we believe in giving underprivileged women a break. Everyone can recall that one person who gave them a break when they most needed it. In microfinance, women are accountable for the loan and repayment; they feel empowered and often are, for the first time, part of a credit rating - validating them in business. With the low interest rate, the repaid loan size increases to help a greater group of women. The Lingerie shows allow a traditionally indulgent business to redirect focus to a greater message.

Replete with aerialists descending from the soaring ceiling and other special performances, the show is sure to delight as well as provoke thought and action to empower women through microfinance. Proceeds from this event will go toward microfinancing women primarily in New York State and the Caribbean. Lingerie New York partners include Freedom Bay St. Lucia, Fusion Beauty, Royal Asscher, Hennessy Black and Accion USA. For more information, please visit

Atsuko Kudo is a Japanese-born, London based designer who has worked exclusively with latex since 2001. Her prints and technique have a timeless innovation, making her the premier couture latex designer in the world. Kudo was the first to be awarded with the European Latex Designer of the Year for 2008-2009; yet the niche-appeal of latex does not limit Kudo. Her latex designs have been featured in the Hussein Chalayan, Cerruti and Vivienne Westwood shows in Paris and in the Fendi and Karl Lagerfeld shows in Milan, as well as the global campaign for Hello Kitty/MAC in 2009. As Kudo's popularity rises in the fashion industry, so does the caliber of her clientele. The femininity and power of her latex lace has been worn by the world‟s top fashion icons: Lady Gaga, Dita von Teese, Beyoncé, Kate Moss, Naomi Campbell, Eva Mendes, Christina Aguilera, Kelly Brook and Grace Jones. Kudo's work for Lady GaGa include outfits for her now legendary Glastonbury festival performance and the infamous red latex Victorian/Elizabethan gown and ruff which she wore for the Royal Variety Performance in December -- which grabbed headlines worldwide when she was pictured wearing it whilst meeting the Queen (a look fondly parodied later in Glee's Lady GaGa episode!). Lady GaGa's ongoing Monster Ball world tour also features Atsuko's latex designs, while Beyoncé wore yellow latex for the "Telephone" video and GaGa wore her red nun's outfit in "Alejandro". Lingerie New York will be Kudo's first headline runway show. Please see for more information.

As a fashion student fresh from the Antwerp Fashion School Academy, Carine Gilson saw potential in lingerie to be more than an accessory, an afterthought, or hidden away in the bedroom. With a microfinance loan, Carine was able to invest in her idea and a small sewing workshop, fusing together the finest materials and the artistic influences of Gustav Klimt, Art Nouveau and the Russian Ballet, with a genuine understanding of a woman‟s elegance and sensuality. By 1994, Gilson created her eponymous couture lingerie line that quickly was recognized by upscale boutiques and department stores from New York to Tokyo. Gilson's garments are revered for their subtle seduction in delicate silk and Chantilly lace. She indisputably is the queen of lingerie couture, renowned for her exquisite lingerie made with the finest silks, lightest muslins and intricate laces. Her collections are meticulously produced in her workshop in Brussels, where inlays of pearls, laces, patterns, silk screens and new techniques are used to create original, delicate lingerie in true couture tradition. In 2004, Carine opened her own boutique in Paris and continues to expand the reach of her brand. Since settling on rue de Grenelle in Saint-Germain, Gilson has launched a swimwear line, bord de mer, and a cruise line. Considered by French Vogue to be the “most refined lingerie in the world”, it's no wonder that discerning style icons like Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron are fans. Gilson, as an entrepreneur, designer and couture brand, embodies the grace and power of an empowered woman. This year, Gilson celebrates her 20th anniversary with the opening of her eponymous boutique in Brussels and at Lingerie New York. For more information, please visit

When one is in doubt, there are those two simple words that remind one, "if not now, never." There are those lingering words that stand alone as mere syllables, but when joined, become a rite of passage. These coupled words, familiar to all, are "Why Not?" In view of the Seven Bar Foundation's mission to empower women around the world by harnessing the omnipresent power of the lingerie industry, it is only natural that it would create that ONE power panty that transmits the feeling that Super Woman has as she puts on her tight little boy shorts and buckles her star belt. The feeling of, "I can do anything I put my mind to -- I don't think I am, I know I am.” In the spirit of liberating the superhero in all of us, every panty empowers women who need that first break to make it. Instead of a "cape" the Foundation gives her a "break." It's a one size fits all panty and inspiration for each woman. A confident woman in a “Y” panty enables her to spearhead her own business and rise out of poverty via microfinance. Women know better than giving hand-outs and making other women dependent on limited resources. The Foundation gives a “hand-up” -- a ladder so she can climb her own way out toward self-sufficiency. Designed by Dara Young, the best kept secret in lingerie design, the “Y” panty line will be unveiled for the first time at Lingerie New York 2010.


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