Italian luxury designer outlet steps up to aid autistic children
Leading Italian luxury designer outlet Florentia Village has announced the launch of its sustainable care program "To Love, Together," in which it joined with the "Star. Bunny. Love" Children's Mental Health Care Action to help those on the autism spectrum.
The village plans to organize a series of creative events, such as charity markets and art exhibitions of work from autistic children to raise public awareness of the group. The outlet's luxury brands and boutiques would also join the care program, including Aigle, Anteprima, Brooks Brothers, Lane Crawford, Max Mara, Michael Kors and MLB, among others.
Launched by model and actress Bonnie Chen in 2011, the "Star. Bunny. Love" program is an eco-friendly and care initiative that raises funds to help autistic children. Through exhibitions, charity markets, and other activities, the program has raised more than 1 million yuan (US$144,864) to support art therapy programs for children for over a decade.
Children on the autism spectrum, also known as "children from the stars," often have problems with social communication and interaction, and may have restricted or repetitive behaviors or interests. They may also have different ways of learning, moving, or paying attention.
"As the first cooperation of the annual sustainable public welfare project, we want to help children with needs," said Jacopo De Vena, managing director of Florentia Village and RDM Asia. "Furthermore, we will integrate the unique resources of the village as well as customize diverse and creative activities and content for this partner initiative in order to offer enriched recreation and shopping experiences for customers, while increasing public awareness of the community."
The "Star. Bunny. Love" program started 12 years ago by hosting charity sales to raise money for autistic children through a series of sustainable projects such as clothes recycling and green fashion designs. The organization has expanded to fund the children's art exhibitions, and will probably have fashion shows with the children in the future.
"The star represents hope, the bunny is everyone who's willing to help, and love is everything," Chen said. "The charity organization was born 12 years ago in the year of the bunny, so now is a new start for us. In the future, it will go to more cities in China to reach and help more people."