Johny Dar’s celebrity jean pool

What do Vogue editor Anna Wintour, Oscar award-winner Joaquin Phoenix and Bollywood actor Hrithik Roshan have in frequent? All three have contributed to Jeans for Refugees, a charity drive that raises funds for the International Rescue Committee. During the migrant disaster of 2016 — the worst the world noticed since World War II — American artist and designer Johny Dar was moved to assist in any means he might. A easy concept got here to thoughts: “I could give celebrity jeans a makeover and turn them into artworks to raise awareness and funds,” he recollects, sharing that he needed to harness popular culture obsession to attract consideration to a deepening humanitarian disaster.

Johny Dar  

After a short hiatus, the charity is again with a brand new web site and renewed curiosity. In April, Oscar nominee Saoirse Ronan joined the checklist of over 100 celebrities who’ve already donated. Now, Dar is approaching Indian celebrities to return on board. Jackie Shroff, Sara Ali Khan and Kriti Sanon are already contributing. Also on his wishlist are Priyanka Chopra and Shah Rukh Khan. Being primarily based in Los Angeles, he initially known as on his Hollywood pals to contribute. “Sharon Stone was the first one to send her jeans, no questions asked [it raised close to ₹5 lakh]. Soon, more pairs started pouring in,” he says. Everyone from actor Alicia Vikander to singer Elton John and magician David Copperfield to supermodel Karlie Kloss. Even former French first woman Carla Bruni and Sheikha Jawaher Bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, spouse of the ruler of Sharjah, have donated their denims.

For and by migrants

  • This shouldn’t be the one denim-related charity for migrants. Last December, Levi’s introduced a capsule assortment created by refugee employees on the Porto Alegre cooperative in Rovigo, Italy. Made of recycled cloth, it’s accessible in 28 choose shops in 13 international locations throughout Europe and on their web site. 100% of internet proceeds can be donated to the co-op.

All the items are wearable and washable, most painted with 3D paint from California-based model Jacquard. While there is no such thing as a overarching theme and the time per piece varies, Dar says he tries to “capture the essence of the celebrity that is still left in the jeans”. So actor Eva Longoria’s tapered white pants have been given a textured gold therapy. Director Pedro Almodovar’s dishevelled jeans are as vibrant as his movies. And Dar gave former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham’s bootleg denims “a strong pattern — it shows a woman in control of her emotions”.

In the 2016 public sale, pairs went for ₹15 lakh to ₹21 lakh and above. When it involves pricing, he says, “The value is decided intuitively to some extent. It is not only about what we believe people will pay, based on the profile of that celebrity and the value of their jeans, but also to do with how much time I spent and what we feel is its innate worth as a piece of art in itself.” Some pairs are signed, and the model/designer label of the denims is intentionally not talked about, as a result of to him, it’s not related.

Jeans contributed by singer Pink

Jeans contributed by singer Pink  

He feels that though their goal is to lift cash, it’s not the one factor that may remedy the problem at hand. He requires a perspective shift, one the place refugees are seen inside a optimistic framework — of persistence and onerous work — and a way of appreciation. When requested why this specific trigger, Dar has a fairly idealistic reply. “I have this natural urge to maintain or achieve a balanced environment. I believe it is important for our society to move forward and dissolve suffering by embracing our differences. Think of the world as one big body, where one person is the arm and the other the leg. Both are important and necessary,” he says.

At the second, they’re accepting offers by means of the web site and persons are welcome to bid instantly for items. The IRC is at present serving to susceptible refugees in over 40 international locations like Syria and Yemen to take care of the COVID-19 scenario. “We have lots of denims, so we’re open to offers on a regular basis. We have been planning an enormous public sale gala in New York this yr however needed to cancel it as a result of international scenario, so now we’re engaged on one other public sale, to be introduced quickly. Our aim is to lift $10 million-plus,” concludes Dar.


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