Art, fashion and big-hearted celebrities all came together during a fundraiser auction to benefit the Chema Vision Children’s Center in Nairobi, Kenya. A-listers including Madonna, Naomi Campbell, Halle Berry and Zoe Kravitz put their creative caps on to customise totes by eco-fashion house Ministry of Tomorrow (MOT) to help the most vulnerable children from the Kibera slum have the opportunity to go to school. Paris Jackson, Usher, Lenny Kravitz and Maggie Q were also among the 22 celebrities who took part in the “Art for Education” event. With a goal to raise $100k, all proceeds from the auction that ran from 1 to 16 June are being donated to Chema to help fund the school’s operating budget.
Laurie Lynn Stark, co-owner of the international jewellery and clothing brand Chrome Hearts, joined in to create her own unique tote. The “Laurie Lynn Stark, Chrome Hearts" bag features a red vegan leather star and cross patches, sterling silver Chrome Hearts decor and a clip-closure key ring, along with Starks’s hand-drawn detailing and signature.
“All children deserve a chance to become what they dream,” Stark said.
MOT and LA’s avant-garde retailer to the stars, Church Boutique, sponsored the auction in conjunction with Christie’s and their online charity auction partner CharityBuzz. And the public had a chance to see the celebrities’ artistic expressions on MOT’s new organic canvas tote bags while they were on display at Christie’s in Manhattan throughout the auction.
Situated in the midst of Kibera, Africa’s largest urban slum, The Chema school was established to provide quality education for some of the area's most vulnerable children. Just before the pandemic, the school that has many students who are orphans or live with single parents who can’t afford school fees was forced to relocate because its building structure was not up to code.
Since MOT’s vegan bag production facility is located near Chema, the company’s president, Julian Prolman, heard about the school’s predicament. And the institution with the name that means something good in Swahili was able to relocate to a safe building thanks to an initial fundraiser managed by MOT. However, it needs urgent funds to pay its teachers and cover its operational expenses, which includes a daily meal for the students.
Prolman turned to MOT’s LA retail partners, Rodney Burns and David Malvaney, the founders of Church Boutique, to help raise the necessary finances. And with some help from their famous friends, they co-produced the celebrity-driven art auction.
“We believe that luxury is a privilege that comes with the responsibility to care for others in need and therefore we are thrilled to collaborate with MOT to do what we can to make a difference in the lives of children born into challenging circumstances,” Burns said.