Style Saves’ 2016 Swim Week fundraiser is taking place at the Setai Miami Beach on Friday, July 15. The oh-so-fashionable charitable organization helps underprivileged kids get back-to-school supplies, a list that most definitely includes new clothing. This year, Style Saves founder, stylist Rachael Russell, booked models Rocky Barnes and Charlotte McKinney to host the extravaganza. In recent years, founder Rachael Russell has taken the organization global, helping kids on missions to both Cuba and Haiti. Here we catch up with her ahead of the big weekend.
HL: You’re moving into 6 years of Style Saves. Did you ever think it would get this big?
RR: Absolutely, I’ve always had really high expectations for the organization. The support from the community is overwhelming. It’s a cause that so many supporters can identify with, which has made it a really natural success.
HL: How did you get Rocky Barnes to host for you?
RR: Rocky was really enthusiastic to work with us because she is as philanthropic as she is fashionable.
HL: Share one of your most heart-warming stories with us.
RR: Most recently I’ve connected with a homeless high school senior who has lost both of his parents and beat all the odds. Not only did he graduate high school, but he also has gotten a full-ride scholarship to college. We made it our business to make sure he had a graduation party and all the clothing and dorm necessities for the fall. This is just one of thousands of stories like this.
HL: Who is receiving the clothes?
RR: We work with superintendent Alberto Carvalho to pinpoint the students most in need in Miami Dade public Schools.
HL: You travel a lot of Style Saves missions. Can you tell us about some of those and what you do while there?
RR: We’ve been in the development phases for starting an international branch of Style Saves where we will be hosting quarterly mission trips to countries such as: Colombia, Haiti, Nicaragua, and Cuba.
HL: Why is back-to-school so important to these kids?
RR: It’s important to make sure every student has equal opportunity to make sure they have all the necessities to start off the school year. Most of these families can’t afford their daily expenses let alone additional costs for uniforms, school supplies, and prescription eyewear.
HL: How do you apply your skills as a stylist to the charity?
RR: The fashion industry has been very receptive to style saves. Through styling, I’ve leveraged opportunities for sample donations for thousands of students. For instance, I work very closely with multiple brands at Perry Ellis. Annually they donate thousands of units for our kids.
HL: Which luxury items are you coveting right now?
RR: I’m really obsessed with reformation at the moment. The fact that the clothes is so cool and doesn’t harm the environment makes it a double win.