Fashion’s influence on society is undeniable, but getting your hands on Miuccia Prada’s latest collection has validly become less important to the fashion world in recent weeks. However, Prada, Versace and many other designers have come together throughout this current global crisis to give back in massive ways. So, where does the power of the influencer fall into all of this?
Amid the world’s pandemic and economic decline, 27-year-old blogger-turned-designer, Danielle Bernstein, has quickly pivoted her fashion influence to impressive philanthropic efforts. And no, it’s not just for social media show.
Bernstein’s efforts dive much deeper than simply posting a list of charitable organizations to direct her followers to (although, helpful). Even if you don’t find yourself relating to her collection of ‘New Bottega’ and ‘Old Celine,’ it’s important to call out what the millennial fashion entrepreneur has accomplished during this time of uncertainty.
In the midst of launching her latest swimwear collection, Bernstein donated $20,000 of her sales to two hunger-relief non-profits, Food Bank for New York City, generating 75,000 meals, and River Fund Inc. She is continuing to work alongside the River Fund to assist them with social awareness.
Her Instagram is flooded daily with hundreds of direct messages from small businesses, struggling restaurants and healthcare workers who are looking to her platform for help — even if it’s a mere repost to her 2.3 million followers. “This is the difference one Instagram Story can make…I pledge to continue to share until this nightmare is over,” Bernstein expressed on her account. In another message she wrote, “I’ve been overwhelmed by my DMs and trying to give as many people possible the awareness and platform they deserve. What’s the point of all of this is we can’t do some good, too?”
Bernstein’s brand reposting is certainly working. After she posted about Eat Off Beat, a food service led by refugees that delivers stay at home care packages, the company received a huge influx of orders and Instagram followers.
In lieu of the devastating shortage of medical masks for our frontline health care workers, the WeWoreWhat designer looked to the Onia factories, where her signature line of overalls and resort wear is manufactured, to secure 15,000 KN95 surgical masks. She distributed them across hospitals with the help of MaskAHeroNY.com.
Her small (but mighty) team of females curated a resourceful list of organizations including ways to help senior citizens and small restaurants, and how kids can learn while schools are closed. In addition, Bernstein’s team is closely monitoring which companies are currently hiring and sourcing the open roles to her followers.
The New York-native is also candidly sharing her vulnerable side. “Woke up feeling drained, emotionally and physically. I’ve been trying to balance keeping my own sense of normalcy with helping people daily and it still doesn’t feel like enough. I’ve been spending hours on the phone, email, going through my DMs — hearing the extremely emotional stories of people that need help right now, people that have lost their jobs…I feel like I have this newfound responsibility to truly share, bring awareness and make a difference…It’s just a lot to take on and need to not forget to take care of myself so I can continue to help others while also working on my own businesses…”
If running her slew of businesses and charitable work wasn’t enough, Bernstein’s been surprising her Gen Z fanbase and popping up on video chats during Zoom birthday parties and get togethers. Our new normal.
Chiara Ferragni is another mega-influencer that has veered her social platform for good. The Italian fashion entrepreneur raised a staggering €3 million euros to help fight the coronavirus pandemic in Italy. Furthermore, Ferragni and her husband made a personal donation of €100,000 to help fund hospital beds in Milan.
While headlines like “Is This the End of Influencing as We Knew It?” surface the internet, perhaps it’s actually just a learning curve for this modern industry and a digital wake up call for others to put on their blazers and follow suit.
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