Mary J. Blige became famous singing about sorrow. Now, she’s using her painful experiences to spread joy to millions. Enter FFAWN, the Foundation For the Advancement of Women Now, which she founded with marketing pioneer, Steve Stoute. The organization seeks to inspire women to overcome difficulties and achieve success through scholarships, grants and programs. The cause is one close to the singer’s heart, as she has spoke candidly over the years of her resilient, unwavering spirit in the face of adversity. I commend her for using the pain of her past to encourage and inspire women to reach their own unique potential.
Just in time for Fashion Week, Mary J. Blige collaborated with Gucci Creative Director, Frida Giannini, to celebrate Gucci for FFAWN day on September 16th, where the 5th Avenue flagship store donated 10% of its day sales to Blige’s charity. To commemorate the special day, Blige hosted a ceremony at the Empire State Building, lighting the landmark in FFAWN’s colors, purple, yellow and white, and threw a private cocktail party that evening at the flagship store.
I had the good fortune of attending the latter. Guests, including Lebron James, Serena Williams, Alicia Keys, Estelle, Russell Simmons, Ryan Leslie, Vanessa Simmons, Dwight Eubanks and Estelle,came out in dazzling cocktail dresses and sharp suits to show their support.
Powerhouses, Estelle, Mary J. Blige and Russell Simmons take a moment to chat on the red carpet.
Beauties, Mary J. Blige, Serena Williams and Alicia Keys, sneak in some girl talk between posing for photos.
Serena Williams poses with blogger and make-up artist, Beautylicious, inside the store.
Dwight Eubanks and I give good face at the event. Love him!
Vanessa Simmons and I take a picture after the event.
The oldest Simmons daughter chatted with The Glamazons about how she plans to design a clothing line for Pastry, her popular sneaker brand. She even modeled one of her designs, a black skirt with sparkly line details, for us at the event. We’re all about sparkle at the Glamazons (check out my leather and stone vintage necklace)! Vanessa, you better work! Can’t wait to shop the collection =)
Speaking of shopping, the Gucci flagship store was an ideal venue to host the event as since 1921, Gucci’s clothing, shoes, jewelry and watches have made women feel luxurious and beautiful. Creative Director, Frida Gianninni, continues that tradition with a limited edition black PVD twirl watch she designed specifically to commemorate the collaboration with FFAWN. Check out the watch below, which is available in Gucci stores and on gucci.com. A portion of the proceeds will be donated to FFAWN.
With all the focus on shopping and party-hopping, it was great to see celebrities and designers put their energy toward a significant, worthy cause. It actually inspired me to clean out my closet, which is currently overflowing with never-worn dresses and jeans, and donate to the clothing drive at my grandmother’s church. Glamazons: how are you using your love of Fashion to give back to those less fortunate? Whether it’s the purchase of a Gucci for FFAWN watch or a clothing donation, every little bit helps.
Photos: Getty Images.