Bibi Russell and Franca Sozzani to be Honored at the Inaugural First Ladies and Fashion 4 Development "Launcheon" at the Waldorf Astoria Hotel on September 19, 2011

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The Inaugural First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development Luncheon in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals is Fashion 4 Development’s premiere campaign, led by First Ladies from around the world and supported by the fashion, creative, business, diplomacy and media sectors to celebrate the power of fashion as a tool to empower women and implement creative strategies for sustainable economic growth and autonomy. The luncheon concludes a United Nations High Level Meeting on Empowering Women in the Era of Digital Technologies which includes speakers such Ms. Cherie Blair and Ms. Geena Davis. Positing that “Giving Back is the New Luxury”, the focus is on the increasingly decisive role of fashion in creating economic growth in developing countries.

What:: Inaugural First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development Luncheon in support of the UN Millennium Development Goals. “First Ladies & Fashion” is Fashion 4 Development’s premiere campaign, led by First Ladies from around the world and supported by the fashion, creative, business, diplomacy and media sectors to celebrate the power of fashion as a tool to empower women and implement creative strategies for sustainable economic growth and autonomy. The purpose of the campaign is to create awareness and raise funds that will be dispersed as grants to organizations and individuals to empower their impoverished communities. The luncheon concludes a United Nations (“UN”) high level conference on Empowering Women in the Era of Digital Technologies which includes speakers such Ms. Cherie Blair and Ms. Geena Davis. Positing that “Giving Back is the New Luxury”, the focus is on the increasingly decisive role of fashion in creating economic growth in developing countries. The luncheon will also feature “Shawl to Remember”, a joint initiative of the Advanced Development for Africa and Fashion 4 Development, as well as special tributes to First Ladies.

When/Where: Waldorf Astoria Hotel, 301 Park Avenue (Empire Room). Monday, September 19, 2011, 12 – 2:30 p.m. 12 p.m: Step and Repeat and interviews. 12:30 p.m. to 2:30 p.m.: Opening remarks, program and luncheon.

Who: Hosted by Evie Evangelou (Founding Chair of First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development) and Stephanie Winston Wolkoff (Lincoln Center’s founding Director of Fashion) with guest presenter Amy Palmer (Founder and Host of PowerwomenTV). Honoring Bibi Russell (former supermodel and Founder of Fashion 4 Development) and Franca Sozzani (Editor in Chief of Vogue Italia and Managing Editor of all Condé Nast Italia publications), who will be honored with an appointment as Goodwill Ambassador for Fashion 4 Development. Guests include Heads of State, First Ladies, foreign dignitaries, UN officials, high profile influencers in the fashion and related industries and other distinguished guests. Speakers include, et.al., Mrs. Ban Soon-taek, First Lady of Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, Harriet Fullbright and H.E. Ambassador Geri Benoit, former first lady of Haiti, now Ambassador of Haiti to Italy who will present Fashion-ABLE Haiti, a project of the Embassy of Haiti in Rome, Italy.

About Fashion 4 Development
Founded by Bibi Russell and UNESCO in 1996, Fashion 4 Development (“F4D”) is a supporting partner of UN Millennium Development Goals. Its main objective is to implement creative strategies seeking the sustainable development and economic independence of women through fashion. F4D designs and promotes awareness campaigns and fund-raising initiatives across the globe, with the support of First Ladies and the influential contributions of the media. As an official platform of South South News (“SSN”), the media partner of the UN, F4D is a global awareness campaign that unites diplomacy, business, media, and the creative industries for the purpose of helping to achieve the United Nation’s Millennium Development Goals # 1 (End Poverty and Hunger), # 3 (Gender Equality – Empowering Women) and #8 (Global Partnership, through the Expression of Fashion). “Fashion 4 Development has the full support of South South News, the United Nations and its Member States” states Ambassador Francis Lorenzo, SSN President. F4D will appoint Franca Sozzani its Goodwill Ambassador at the South South Awards Gala on the Evening of September 19, held concurrently with the opening of the 65th session of the United Nations, in the presence of Heads of State and First Ladies from all over the globe, personalities from fashion, the diplomatic world and the media. “Franca Sozzani is a perfect choice to lead our mission as Goodwill Ambassador -- her professional career and her philanthropic efforts are truly an inspiration that will garner the support of fashion elite worldwide," notes Evie Evangelou, Co-Founder of Fashion 4 Development, the World Fashion Development Programme and Executive Director of Entertainment & Culture for SSN.

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Susan Shin