Following their own dreams, Gwen and Eboyne have joined forces to create a luxurious dress to raise money for those less fortunate. "I had the opportunity to go to Africa and witness the brilliance and denigration of a rich nation. I saw some of the greatest depths of poverty there. No one should ever have to live like that, especially in a country that is so plentiful in national resources. I have also been a fan of the Gwen Beloti brand since my early days as a fashion editor/writer. So to work alongside Gwen to make the lives of those children and possibly even their families better, was not only the right thing to do, but also a dream come true," Eboyne states.
Meshing high fashion and social action, DTD began as a small spark of genius between the fashionistas, who have always wanted to work together. On a recent trip to Africa, Eboyne found inspiration through her interactions with children; children who have so little but live life to the fullest. Gwen, as a Brooklyn native and artist, has always drawn inspiration from those around her, combining fashion with charity. Gwen says, "I'm excited about this project not simply because I get to do what I love, make clothes that make women feel fab, but more so because the focus here is on charity. Via my brand, I've had the opportunity to create my own community projects and collaborate with others, all of which are dear to me. You can't really go wrong combining fashion with a bit of social action. I'm looking forward to creating with the purpose of giving back."
Both Gwen and Eboyne are passionate beyond measure about this collaboration and project. In keeping with the goal of DTD, these two women want to do their part in helping those in need. Their mission throughout Design the Dream is to bring awareness to their prospective charity affiliations, Little Dresses for Africa and Adonai Partners, by way of fashion.
They're also delighted to have other industry professionals and celebrities in support of the movement. The first face to represent DTD's campaign/movement is none other than lyricist, actress and spoken word artist, Amanda Diva. As a singer, DJ, painter, poet, media personality and culture critic, Amanda Diva is a true Renaissance woman. She successfully made a career out of creating quality work rooted in class, humor and hip-hop. Amanda has been the face of hip-hop on MTV2, interviewing many relevant R&B artists, was in the musical group Floetry, and has been a poetic lyricist on Def Jam Poetry. "I am honored to be apart of the Design the Dream campaign. I knew right away that it was definitely a cause I would support. I also LOVE Gwen's work! It is the perfect combo of feminine and fly, sexy and subtle," Amanda says.
The exclusive DTD piece will be available for purchase on SmashingDarling (smashingdarling.com), and select boutiques in NYC. The dress will also debut in Gwen Beloti's spring 2012 collection, along with a luxury handbag from Daughter of Zion by Eboyne Jackson.
A portion of the proceeds will benefit two organizations near and dear to the creators' hearts:
• Little Dresses for Africa (LDFA) a non-profit 501c3, Christian-based organization that provides relief to children in Africa. LDFA distributes dresses made out of pillowcases to orphanages; churches and schools to bring promise and hope to the young girls of Africa. To date, LDFA has received 300,000 little dresses and distributed to 28 countries in Africa. The organization now distributes britches to boys and much more.
• Adonai Partners both a mission and development agency dedicated to working with churches and missionaries to begin church movements in regions of Africa least exposed to the gospel and love of Jesus Christ. Adonai provides medical outreach for those affected by HIV/AIDS and mobilizes prayer movements to show the love of Jesus to vulnerable families and children.
About Eboyne Jackson
After graduating with a Bachelor's degree in English from Post University, Eboyne Jackson hit the journalism seen in 2007, and has since had work published in more than 13 print and online publications, including AOL Black Voices, Juicy Magazine, Honey Magazine and The Telegraph. She has interviewed and mingled with some of the hottest stars in Hollywood, such as Rihanna,
Ne-yo, Keri Hilson, and Laz Alonso, among others. Eboyne is currently the Editor at Large for Iconography the Magazine, as well as a contributor for Juicy Magazine and Amour Creole Magazine. Recently, Eboyne was one of the top 60 finalists for the search to be Alicia Keys' head blogger for IAmASuperwoman.com. Along with also being the founder of her faith-based ministries, Love Now and D.O.Z. mentoring outreach for teen girls, Eboyne is excited to start her lifestyle brand, Daughter of Zion, a stylish, inspirational handbag collection slated to drop in fall 2012.
About Gwen Beloti
Gwen Beloti is an emerging womenswear fashion designer based out of NYC. Always with an eye for fashion and design, Gwen began creating pieces through trial and error. It wasn't until after completing her Master's Degree in Psychology that she decided to go back to school for fashion. Gwen studied at the Fashion Design Training Studio in New Jersey and New York School of Design. Armed with an innate aesthetic sense and a potent skill set, Gwen founded the Gwen Beloti Collection in 2007. Today, the GB Collection produces quality garments with a youthful yet classic feel, from dresses to separates, for the independent stylista looking for a little edge and a feminine fit. Gwen's been featured in numerous fashion publications including Kouture Magazine, Sheen Magazine and Today's Black Woman Style Report. Gwen finds inspiration in all walks of fashion, including vintage and contemporary, conservative and funky. The Gwen Beloti Collection has also been involved with many charity collaborations; continuously mixing social action with high fashion.
For more information on these entities please visit: www.gwenbeloti.com, www.amandadiva.com, www.littledressesforafrica.com, and www.adonaipartners.com