Evie Evangelou says her work is in her blood. As a Greek-American she believes she carries the blessings of the nine Greek Muses to use inspiration, motivation, education and the spirit of the arts to accomplish her mission of bettering humanity. That perspective, combined with her work as a fashion model, led her to launch Fashion4Development.
F4D’s works in collaboration with the United Nations’ Millennium Development goals “to harness the power of the fashion and beauty industries and implement creative strategies for sustainable economic growth, wellness and independence of communities worldwide.”
To do that, F4D taps business, diplomacy, media, fashion and the creative industries to fight poverty by giving people in developing countries the tools to help themselves. Its guiding principles are the 4Es’s: educate, empower, enhance and enrich.
Since taking on the mission of F4D, Evie has been working to mobilize the top names in the fashion world to expand the reach of the organization’s goals. She says she recognized that teaming up with fashion philanthropists like Donna Karan would have a greater global impact.
“We’ve been walking in similar paths and we needed to join forces to make it stronger -- and that’s what we’re doing right now.”
F4D’s “Discovered in Africa” project is an example of their initiatives. There are many designers in Africa whose clothing lines could have global appeal but they lack name recognition and access to distribution channels. The Africa initiative links these designers to retailers in the west. F4D believes that there is potential for Africa to develop the prestige of a “Made in Italy” label that would raise Africa’s fashion industry to a whole, new level and create many new jobs. F4D is running projects in Ghana, Botswana, South Africa, Kenya, Rwanda and Uganda.
With her insider’s knowledge of the fashion industry, Evie knows how to appeal to a high-end, stylish audience for the benefit of the world. F4D’s motto sums it up best: “Giving Back is the New Luxury.”