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Brands Doing Some Good

Rihanna for UNICEF's Tap Project

I cover a lot of charities on this site since giving back is important to me and I’m constantly amazed by the amount of press releases I receive with brands showing their support by donating to various causes. So to show my support, I thought I would do a sum up of the recent ones I’ve received.

NYU Annual Premiere Benefit Fashion Show EXPO 2011 – Friday April 29th, 3PM (day show), 7:30PM (evening show). All of the proceeds from the show will benefit Hamilton-Madison House, a nonprofit community center that caters to low-income households in NYC.

If you can’t make the show, you can still get involved. EXPO 2011 has partnered with GoodSearch. Anyone online can download the GoodSearch toolbar, specify “New York University – NYU EXPO – Hamilton Madison House” as the chosen charity, and each time that they use the toolbar to search the internet, Hamilton-Madison House benefits. For more information visit http://www.exponyu.com/

UNICEF Tap Project – Celebrities, including Selena Gomez, Adrian Grenier, Dwight Howard, Rihanna, Robin Williams and Taylor Swift have joined forces with the U.S. Fund for UNICEF to engage consumers in a conversation about the lack of access to safe, clean water for nearly 900 million children and adults across the globe. The UNICEF Tap Project is a public service campaign that aims to draw attention to this serious issue and encourage the public to take action to reduce the numbers of children dying daily from waterborne illnesses, the second-highest cause of preventable childhood deaths in the world. Considering $1 provides clean water for a child for 40 days –imagine the difference you can make! Get involved at http://tapproject.org/

Solid Ground Initiative T-Shirt

Solid Ground Initiative – Design Lab NYC, the boutique philanthropic design agency, has partnered with 12 influential Japanese artists located in Japan and NY to create a t-shirt design collection that tells the human side of the recent disaster. All of the proceeds from the sale of the shirts will go to relief organizations working in Japan. Shirts are available in both childrens and unisex adult sizes.  For more information visit http://www.solidgroundinitiative.com/

TEMPTU, the worldwide leader in airbrush makeup, announced earlier this month that they will donate $100 from every online sale of their AIRbrush Makeup System and TEMPTU PRO Compressors and Kits through March 31, 2011 to the American Red Cross for Japan relief efforts.

Civic Duty Shoes

Civic Duty Shoes– I recently discovered this awesome new sneaker line that donates 100% of the profits to a social cause benefiting those in the US. They’re made out of Tyvek, which is that same material used for FedEx envelopes, so awesome! Learn more at http://www.civicdutyshoes.com/

Jac Vanek & We The Kings "We Love Japan" Bracelet

Cutting edge clothing and accessories designer, Jac Vanek has teamed up with the band, We The Kings to create a “We Love Japan” bracelet ($10). 100% of all proceeds go towards relief efforts in Japan, Learn more HERE

Academy Award-winning actress Halle Berry will auction off a collection of personalized items including items from her latest fragrance campaign, Reveal by Halle Berry in

I Partied With Charlie Sheen…actually it was Richie Rich!

The picky girl in me wishes this was a burnout, rocker, v-neck tee (that looks like it had partied all night with Charlie Sheen), but that doesn’t negate from the hilarity of the messaging.

And amidst all the Charlie Sheen controversy Jac Vanek is genius for creating this t-shirt. Do you realize how many people joined twitter alone just to follow Charlie Sheen’s tweets? Okay, neither do I, but it’s a lot! The  limited edition ‘I PARTIED WITH CHARLIE SHEEN’ t-shirt ($24) is available in Small, Medium, or Large Adult unisex sizes. To pre-order yours, visit JacVanek.com

Rachael Szporn, Lara Eurdolian (me!), Richie Rich

Speaking of partying last night, I did with designer, Richie Rich at The Fifth Annual Texas Hold’Em Poker Night to benefit The Children’s Storefront (check them out, they’re amazing!). While the rest of the room was gambling, we we’re busy sitting on chairs we shouldn’t have sat on, doing tequila shots I’d rather forget, dancing by ourselves and having the loveliest time. Although I expect it’s next to impossible not to have a great time with Richie Rich– he’s so welcoming and fun oriented. He loves his glitter and I love him. Now how do I get an ‘I Partied with Richie Rich’ t-shirt? Preferably one with lots and lots of glitter?

Richie Rich

Cheers to you Richie Rich, thank you for making my night!

Taking Time With Jac Vanek

Lara with Jac Vanek

Nestled up at the Ace Hotel, I took some time with cutting edge designer, Jac Vanek to talk about her jewelry and clothing line and latest collection for Bloomindale’s.

When did you start your line?

Jac Vanek (JV): I started with my bracelets about 2 years ago when I was still in college. I did it on the side until I graduated last May and was able to do everything full force. So it’s been a serious business for about a year and half and I’ve been able to expand into necklaces, rings, and shirts.

How did you get started?

JV: It was actually my mom’s idea (I know that’s really embarrassing to admit). I sourced a manufacturer in China to make my bracelets. I had $200 to put into the launch, and had to just hope that they actually would send me the products I ordered since I randomly found them online. I got 20 bracelets, gave them to some friends and the rest is history.

Jac Vanek Exclusive "You Fit Here" T-shirt at Bloomindale's

What was written on your first bracelets?

JV: ‘Ruthless’. The bracelet is still available. It’s named after the song ‘Ruthless’ from one of my favorite bands, ‘Something Corporate’.

Tell me about the quotes and sayings on your shirts.

JV: I incorporate a lot of different things into my collection, some of it has a party and have fun sort of vibe, and then I have a lot of products with different literary or pop culture references on them. I’ve used quotes from anything from Jack Kerouac’s book, On the Road to the film, Breakfast at Tiffany’s. It’s a mix of everything that encompasses my personality.

You recently launched in Bloomingdale’s. That’s so exciting!

Jac Vanek at Bloomingdale's. Photo Credit: Hilary J. Corts

JV: So exciting… I launched with Bloomingdale’s last month and just wrapped up 3-days of in-store appearance at their Roosevelt Field Mall, Short Hills Mall and White Plains locations. I did a special order of exclusive t-shirts for them. They have variations of my existing shirts in different colors and styles.

What’s next for you?

JV: I have so much in the works this summer. In February we’re going to Australia for the music festival, Sound Wave. Otherwise, I’m working on my summer line — It’s going to consist of a lot more v-necks and girly, flowy shirts and everything is going to be custom cut.

Well Jac Vanek, I think you rock! It’s very inspiring to see a young designers getting her name out there and developing a brand so organically, but with a lot of heart and ambition to succeed. Best of luck to you, this really is ‘only the beginning’.

Learn more about the collection at JacVanek.com