The Second Official First Ladies & Fashion 4 Development Annual Luncheon will take place during the Sixty-Seventh Session of the United Nation’s General Assembly at the historic Pierre Hotel in New York City.
This high level gathering unites First Ladies, Diplomats, Fashion VIP’s and other key influencers from around the globe to recognize and celebrate the unprecedented cooperation between Diplomacy & Fashion for the greater good of Women and Children worldwide.
F4Ds esteemed co hosts this year are: Franca Sozzani - Editor in Chief of Vogue Italia and F4D’s Goodwill Ambassador, H.R.H. Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway and H.E. Toyin Saraki - First Lady of Kwara State, Nigeria. Academy Award Winner Colin Firth and his wife Livia Firth are just some of the special celebrity guests.
Fashion 4 Development (F4D) is a private sector global initiative in direct cooperation with the Office of the United Nations Secretary-General H.E. Ban Ki Moon. The mission is to harness the power of the fashion and beauty industries and implement creative strategies for sustainable economic growth and independence of communities worldwide through the expression of fashion. Its guiding principles are the 4E’s: Educate, Empower, Enhance and Enrich. F4D’s tag line is “Giving Back is the New Luxury.”
Operating according to the philosophy “Not charity – Just work,” Fashion 4 Development is making its own contribution to the achievement of the United Nations Millennium Development Goals through awareness-raising campaigns, partnerships, scholarships, fund-raising and the financing of initiatives to grow sustainable economies in developing countries. Additionally, F4D is committed to and supports the UN Secretary- General’s Campaign “Every Woman, Every Child” whose mission is to save the lives of 16 million women from preventable causes of death by 2015.
Speech given by Her Royal Highness The Crown Princess Mette-Marit of Norway at First Ladies Fashion 4 Development Luncheon in New York 25 September 2012 here - http://www.kongehuset.no/c26947/tale/vis.html?tid=102859&strukt_tid=26947
"Today I want to introduce to you one of many of those pioneering in this field – the fashion designer Leila Hafzi.
15 years ago, a dream was born: Leila wanted to intergrate ethical- and eco-concious production into high-end fashion.
Her desire was to empower women in developing countries - and maybe even inspire the fashion industry into a global shift.
In 1997, Leila Hafzi left Norway for Nepal to follow her dream and her vision. She lost her heart to local crafts and artisans, and to a country struggling to find it’s footing in a fast-changing world. She wanted to find out how she could improve the situation for women who were being held back by societal challenges, giving them a livelihood and a platform for a fair income and thereby a more emancipated life.
The Norwegian brand LEILAHAFZI has engaged 150 uneducated women in production of knitwear.
Mothers – who would otherwise have had to partly rely on their children’s contribution to the family economy - were given the financial liberty to see their children continue school and gain an education they often were deprived of.
Not only has Leila realised success in helping and enabling these extraordinary women, she has also realised fashion success. And that is what this industry needs, strong business women who have the courage to make dreams happen." From HRH Crownprincess Mette-Marit of Norway speech
Leila Hafzi was honored to attend the luncheon and presented the above video to the guests on September 25th 2012.