-At just the moment the European designers are packing up their new duds and counting up the orders for the next season, a number are going back on the road for one last show. Not an ordinary one, mind you, but for Fashion Aid, the fashion industry's worldwide effort to raise money for the starving in Africa.
Giorgio Armani is on his way from Milan, Yves Saint Laurent and Issey Miyake are going from Paris, and Calvin Klein, who has not yet begun to show his spring line to buyers, is about to leave for London, where a monumental fashion show will be mounted on Nov. 5 at 7:30 p.m. at the Royal Albert Hall.
There are 18 designers, 14 of them British -- including David Holah and Stevie Stewart of Body Map and Jean Muir -- involved in this mega-event organized by the Band Aid trust, which will merge the proceeds from this event with the money raised to date by Band Aid. There will be a delayed television broadcast, video, magazine and undoubtedly a magazine sale as well.
Bravo. But no one in the fashion business should let the effort stop there. Hopefully this will encourage some to build on skills learned from these fund-raising events, heightened with the remarkable creative promotional genius innate in the business worldwide, and raise huge sums for the basic research on acquired immune deficiency syndrome.
Daily there are stories, not told widely, of designers and assistants, of hair and makeup stylists, and others related to the fashion business who are suffering from or who have died of AIDS. The fashion industry has no Rock Hudson to use as an example, only dozens of people who want their privacy honored.
The best event may be a nonevent -- a special edition book of sketches or a sale percentage of fashion and beauty items. The fashion business has geniuses to create the best way of raising money.