Harvard Had an Elle of a Time Mixing Fashion and Finance

Apparently Elle Woods is not the only fashionista associated with Harvard. Yesterday, actual Harvard students held a catwalk for charity at the Boston Park Plaza hotel ballroom.Can you be good at fashion and finance?

Harvard helping Cradles to Crayons

This pseudo fashion and finance mixer was cohosted by the Harvard Retail and Luxury Goods Club and MIT’s Sloan Business School Retail, CPG and Luxury Club.

This annual event is not only a good blend of fashion and finance but also supports a good cause. The event benefits children’s charity Cradles to Crayons.

Aside from the benefit fashion show, Harvard is also collecting donations of new or used coats for children via purple drop-off bins throughout campus.

Models are students chosen via HBS student nominations.

Two students showcased their own fashion start-ups

     1:   First-year HBS student, Alex Mahylis, showed Topology. Topology is a globally inspired men’s shirt and accessories brand. The brand’s website ( has been live since July. The brand’s fabrics are purchased globally but “proudly made in America.”

Read about the “Made in America” controversy here.

Topology’s current collection boasts fabrics from Japan. The fabrics for the next capsule are currently being scouted in Nepal.

     2:   Helena Monteiro, a graduate of Massachusetts College of Art and Design with a BFA in both painting and fashion design, presented ath-leisure looks. Monteiro works as designer-in-residence at Kit and Ace. Monteiro designs between 15 and 25 pieces every 6 or 7 weeks. Her sources of inspiration are (simple and sensical:) locals. What locals want to see and what they are missing.

Why you should care and what you should do

Even if your school or workplace is not fashion oriented or is simply full of lackluster fashion, you can hit a fashion refresh button while helping out a local cause.

Sure, you could go all out and throw a fashion show. Surely there are local fashion designers and schools with which to team up. But you can be impactful in a simple and less time consuming manner.

Set up a collection

Set up a clothing drive for a worthwhile non-profit.

Ask permission to take up a little real estate via a donation box or be the go-to person for direct donation drop-offs.

Charities accept both new and used items (in good condition, of course).  Consider a non-profit that provides disadvantaged persons with professional attire. Try finding one with a local base to make delivery of donations easier. Always double-check donation needs.

Announce your clothing drive 

Here is where you can get creative. This creativity could possibly spark fashion conversation during your lunch break that could lead to a shopping rendezvous after work. 🙂

Consider creating a fashion collage of work appropriate fashion. Your goal here being to motivate others to swap some pieces for new ones. Use Polyvore as a starting point. Let the personal style of your targeted peers inspire your looks. Trust me, even if you are a former model slash six-figure personal style blogger turned fashion lawyer, everyone should not dress like you.

Use your collage in an announcement about your drive. Add a donation-inspiring blurb and remind readers of the great fashion looks and deals currently in stores. 😉

Check out where to donate professional clothing.

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