October 11, 2013
This year’s Women Helping Women and African Bazaar tote bags will be designed by Women Helping Women New York committee member and fashion designer Bonnie Young.
“I am thrilled to be on the committee of this year’s Voss Foundation Women Helping Women New York Luncheon,” Bonnie told us recently. “When I was first asked by a friend to join her on the committee, I began thinking how we take CLEAN WATER for granted in our daily lives. It’s the most essential commodity to humanity, which is actually a luxury to many. We are privileged and lucky to have water for the most basic and essential functions: cleansing and hydration. I began reading and realized that I don’t know anyone who really knows what it is like to be thirsty, to suffer from dehydration, to drop out of schools because of the lack of sanitation facilities or been infected during childbirth all because of a lack of clean water access. But these are every day issues women and children face in Africa. What we don’t actually register is that millions of people around the world do not have access to clean water. It is very simple WATER = LIFE.”
Bonnie Young is an American designer and mother who lives by a global philosophy. Bonnie has over 20 years of experience in the fashion industry and has long committed to philanthropic initiatives. Bonnie is a tastemaker and activist whose causes center on children. She began her career at Ralph Lauren, and then for 16 years Bonnie was a principal design force at Donna Karan Intl. Leaving behind the role of senior creative director, in 2007 Bonnie focused on her own brand: a couture line for children inspired by her own. She opened her first freestanding store in Aspen, Colorado, shortly after the launch of her brand and quickly became regarded internationally as a symbol of youth sophistication. Her designs routinely grace the pages of international publications such as Vogue, Teen Vogue, Oprah Magazine, The Telegraph, Arab News, Earnshaw’s amongst others. Following the positive reception of her aesthetic, Bonnie expanded her business in 2011 to include a womenswear capsule collection for Henry Beguelin.
In addition to her work with Solving Kids’ Cancer, Bonnie is the founder of Fashion Fights for Children’s Rights, an initiative to align her brand with various children’s charities such as Innocence in Danger, Nest, Fair Fund, ECPAT and ROTA. She has donated her artworks to organizations such as the Metropolitan Museum of Art, Noblinka and UNICEF for which she also designed uniforms with Orta Blu for displaced Syrian children. Bonnie has authored Colours of Vanishing Tribes, a collection of her photographs taken during travels around the world for Donna Karan. Bonnie’s international projects include collections for the Museum of Islamic Art, Qatar, denim collaboration with Orta Anadolu, and creative director to Meghan Boody’s “Psyche and The Beast”.
Graduate of Cornell University and scholar of Accedemia di Belle Arti in Florence, Bonnie continues her academic pursuit as a mentor and critic for FIT and Parsons. Bonnie currently lives in New York with her family.
“I am honored to support the Voss Foundation to raise awareness and funds that support clean water and sanitation projects in Africa,” Bonnie concludes. “Many women and their communities do not have the most basic luxury that we take advantage of every day of our lives.”
Voss Foundation is grateful to Bonnie for her generous support! We can’t wait to show you the totes she designed, which will serve as African Bazaar shopping bags at events in New York and San Francisco this Fall.