For its third annual UnordinaryWomen project, Lafayette 148 is showcasing a cast of seven cross-generational women, including Christy Turlington Burns, who are setting the tone, raising the bar, and bringing other women along with them.
The initiative benefits Every Mother Counts, the maternal health nonprofit founded by Burns. The nonprofit is dedicated to making pregnancy and childbirth safe, respectful and equitable for every mother.
Michele Norris will moderate a live Zoom celebration on Thursday titled “UnordinaryWomen, Extraordinary Voices,” featuring a conversation on being courageous, making change and the power of sisterhood in these unordinary times.
“This has been a year unlike any before,” said Deirdre Quinn, cofounder and chief executive officer of Lafayette 148. “We’ve all been through so much. More than ever, it’s important to honor women who’ve met the moment and helped to lift us up. As a women-led company creating for women, we’re dedicated to celebrating women every day. This campaign captures all that we stand for, and Every Mother Counts’ mission of making pregnancy and childbirth safe and equitable around the globe resonates so much with our purpose. I’m proud of the women and excited to share their stories in support of others.”
In addition to Burns, the campaign, which launches today on social media, showcases Syra Madad, a pioneering pandemic-preparedness expert, who is senior director system-wide Special Pathogens Program at NYC Health + Hospitals; Sade Lythcott, CEO of The National Black Theatre, chair of the Coalition of Theatres of Color and advocate for arts institutions and artists; Karen Cahn, founder and CEO of iFundWomen, a crowdsourcing platform which provides debt-free capital to women-owned businesses; Paola Mendoza, activist, author and cofounder of the Women’s March; Dr. Helen Ouyang, frontline hero, emergency room doctor and author, and Karen Boykin-Towns, civil rights champion and vice chairman, NAACP National Board of Directors.
Emily Smith, creative director of Lafayette 148, oversaw the all-women team and brought the campaign to life. It was photographed by Alex Nataf, who shot all the women in a series of portraits. The women were photographed in the label’s signature white shirt, as well as a fashion look.
“The white shirt is something we’re famous for, and it’s one of the most versatile pieces in any women’s wardrobe. I like to think of it as the ultimate blank canvas — it really brings out the beauty of the woman who wears it,” said Smith.
To support the initiative, Smith and her team designed an exclusive, limited edition UnordinaryWomen T, retailing for $148, and available to purchase exclusively at lafayette148ny.com.
“We wanted this T to feel really special and unique, and to keep the integrity of ‘by women for women’ going,” said Smith. “We partnered with a small women-owned studio here in Brooklyn on the printing.” One hundred percent of the proceeds from the Ts will benefit Every Woman Counts.
Lafayette 148 also created a series of short films that bring the women’s stories to life, sharing their challenges, their triumphs and messages of hope during these times. Another dedicated short film focuses on the critical work of Every Mother Counts.
“As a majority minority company, diversity is woven into the fabric of Lafayette 148,” said Quinn. “We wanted UnordinaryWomen to reflect the incredible diversity of the women we serve. The beauty of this campaign is that it shows whatever your age, your voice has the power to inspire so many other women throughout their journeys, now more than ever.”
Lafayette 148 New York plans a series of in-store activations that tie in with the campaign. During this month and May, the brand’s boutiques will celebrate “The Extraordinary White Shirt,” by donating 100 percent of proceeds from the purchase of white shirts to Every Mother Counts. In addition, clients who bring in a gently used shirt will receive $48 toward their purchase, and their garments will be donated to women in need.
Customers can explore the campaign online at lafayette148ny.com, virtually meet the women, watch the films and sign up for the event and updates. Followers on Instagram, Facebook and Twitter will be encouraged to engage with the project and amplify the impact by using the hashtag #L148UnordinaryWomen. For each hashtag used from Monday through May 12, Lafayette 148 New York will donate $10 to Every Mother Counts.
“I’m honored to be partnering with Lafayette 148 on their UnordinaryWomen campaign,” said Burns. “Their mission of lifting up women really resonates with the work of Every Mother Counts, and together will have a positive impact on women’s lives. In this unordinary moment, it’s our choice to come together and rise to the challenges we’re facing, to push ourselves to be extraordinary. If ever there was a time when we need to celebrate UnordinaryWomen, this is it.”
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