Everybody knows that most celebrities, models, politicians, and socialites alike lend their names to a good cause to garner more camera time and a mention on Page Six. But now Lydia Hearst, billionaire socialite, is complaining that a certain Darfur campaign is “slapping her name on every event invite” even though she only attended one. Malcolm Harris, co-founder of Designers for Darfur fired back against the heiress with the following:
When Designers For Darfur was originally formed, Lydia Hearst and I agreed that we would hold periodic events and initiatives in order to raise awareness, particularly within fashion industry, as to the ongoing crisis/genocide currently taking place in Darfur…. Unfortunately, Lydia’s participation in the “real work” and/or “decision making process” for these events and initiatives left a great deal to be desired…Lydia and I both have always known the deal – the trade was simple – we do “all” the real work and you use your name to promote the events (the absolute least a “co-founder” should be able to do is to show up, look pretty for the cameras, and smile)…I do believe that today’s breed of “socialite” simply pales in comparison to the ideals set forth by great women such as Brooke Astor, Nan Kempner, Pat Buckley and many others that felt innately compelled to participate in a lifetime of charitable efforts…It is my belief that Ms. Hearst was under the impression that after the “runway shows” and “pretty parties” the folks in Darfur would certainly now be out of harms way….
He’s right. These newbie socialites don’t hold a candle to legendary heiresses of New York who not only donated their millions, but spent a considerable amount of their time on worthy causes. It was simply a given to uphold the family name. Tsk. But as I said before, it seems that Darfur is simply no longer fashionable.
Read the entire Letter at Gawker
Review the Designers for Darfur Fall Collection
Malcolm Harris explains Designers For Darfur
Still in the dark about Darfur? Read the BBC website.