Courtesy of Retailers

Designer Gabriela Hearst is financing a donation of $600,000 to Save the Children by offering her sell-out handbags online for the first time ever.

Monica Mendal
October 02, 2017

While Gabriela Hearst is the queen of It-bags, she certainly doesn’t make it easy to get your hands on them. And perhaps that’s part of it. Her bags — which you won’t find in stores or anywhere online — can typically only be purchased by adding your name to a lengthy waitlist that averages more than 1,500 names at a time.

From October 1 through 8, however, Hearst has partnered with Net-a-Porter and Bergdorf Goodman to sell her collection of covetable handbags in an effort to raise awareness for the hunger crisis and impending famine in Kenya.

“Currently, one in eight children under five years old in parts of the region now suffers from severe acute malnutrition and is at risk of dying from drought-related hunger,” Hearst told Travel + Leisure. “[Hunger] is real and happening right now in front of us. It is time to act as humane global citizens and make this aid immediately available.”

This season we love her Ella bag, which is shaped like an accordion and inspired by tango, which is in her roots given her Uruguayan background. While structured and chic, it’s also impressively practical, offering a lot more space than meets the eye with its quirky shape. Hearst's Nina tote is also a favorite of the fashion crowd. 

🙏 @voguemagazine @nicolephelps for announcing our initiative. Please find excerpts of the piece for more link on Bio "Every Gabriela Hearst Bag Bought Next Week Will Benefit Save the Children’s Relief Efforts in Famine-Starved Kenya. Twenty million people are on the brink of starvation in drought-stricken East Africa. That’s an alarming statistic, made all the more so by the fact that with the Trump administration continuing to deny the mounting evidence of climate change, droughts in the region will only become longer and more severe in the future. Gabriela Hearst was dismayed enough about the African famine’s absence from the news cycle here in the U.S., that she traveled to Turkana, Kenya, with Save the Children’s President and CEO Carolyn Miles in July to participate in the organization’s relief efforts. “I wanted to see it with my own eyes. I had a few projects in mind where I could bring not only awareness, but also resources to the problem,” Hearst told Vogue. The @SavetheChildren trip took the designer to Lodwar, Save the Children’s support center is another two hours by car. The aridity of the landscape was shocking. “There’s nothing,” Hearst said. “The livestock are dying, and livestock is not just their source of food, it’s their currency. There’s no river, so the women dig holes on the dry riverbed for hours to get water.” Let that sink in for a moment, as you sip your Poland Spring. Save the Children also runs a cash transfer program that provides families with a monthly allowance for food and water—and that’s where the project Hearst dreamed up comes in. From October 1 to October 8, the designer will sell her bags at @NetaPorter and @BergdorfGoodman (until now they’ve only been available by email request via her e-commerce site) . The money she would’ve netted will be donated to the Turkana families not currently covered by STC’s transfer program. Her pledge, $600,600"

A post shared by Gabriela Hearst (@gabrielahearst) on

Hearst pledges to donate $600,000 to Save the Children — an international 501(c)(3) organization that's been supporting children globally since 1919 — for famine relief efforts, which is the number of cash grants needed for families to make it through to the next harvest several months from now.

Her donation will be distributed in the form of cash grants of $55 per month to more than 1,000 families in the Turkana region to provide them with the ability to purchase life-sustaining food, livestock, and clean water. 

Please note: proceeds from the sales at Bergdorf Goodman and Net-a-Porter will not be donated to Save the Children; instead, the donation will be made by Hearst herself, after wholesaling the bags to each of the retailers.

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