Designers Pitching in With Goodwill NYNJ Virtual Event

UP, UP AND AWAY: Sustainable fashion will be in the spotlight, when Goodwill New York New Jersey hold a virtual gala on Wednesday.

Model, activist and actress Amber Valletta will cohost the “Goodwill Evening of Treasures” event with Fern Mallis. Goodwill NYNJ’s former director and vice chairman Don M. Wilson 3rd will be honored at the event.

Thrifting, upcycling and donating clothes for resale through organizations like Goodwill of New York New Jersey have become more popular during the pandemic.

This week’s event will support the Goodwill COVID-19 crisis fund, which will enable Goodwill to continue operating safely and maintain essential services at this increased time of need. Helping displaced workers get back to work, breaking down barriers to employment, including racial ones, and helping low-income and individuals with disabilities secure jobs and independence are among the other objectives.

The online Goodwill NYNJ auction is already underway with such designs as an upcycled dress by Tracy Reese, who — like David Lauren and the event’s other creative participants — incorporated Goodwill NYNJ items into their designs. As of Monday afternoon, an upcycled outfit by Yeohlee Teng had a current bid of $4,295. That ensemble was made from a pair of flag tuxedo pants with an hourglass jacquard top, an embroidered skirt topped with a fur-collared printed throw. A zip-front leather mask completes the look.

Teng said she loves Goodwill’s mission, and it is “certainly sustainable as a concept, as well as an inspiration in terms of what it has to offer.” The designer said she pulled 24 pieces from Goodwill’s 14th Street store and some extra ones from the 25th Street store. “They are all gems, and the stores are fun to shop with lovely and helpful staff,” Teng said.

Coach also pitched in for the auction, as did Monica Phromsavanh, founder and chief executive officer of the sustainable lifestyle brand Equal Hands, who donated an upcycled jacket in a leopard print. Abstract artist Kerry Irvine has donated an item, and students at FIT and at The New School’s Parsons School of Design have created pieces for the online auction.

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