Once again, Gucci designs a special collection to benefit Unicef. Last year it was the White Heart Tattoo collection of products and this year, the collection is inspired by author and Illustrator Michael Robert's children's Book, Snowman In Africa.
This years' collection has fewer products than last year; two fabulous fun handbags (one featuring the elephant pattern, the other the snowman wrapped in a boa constrictor) , a small wristlet hand bag and a coin purse -both in the elephant patterns, three keychains, a special gift card and of course, the book.
As in the past, this year’s initiative centers around the holiday period promotion of an original collection of items designed by Gucci Creative Director Frida Giannini to be exclusively sold in over 200 Gucci stores worldwide and on Gucci.com.
For the 2009 Gucci Campaign to Benefit UNICEF, Frida Giannini has commissioned acclaimed author and illustrator Michael Roberts to create a sequel to his highly successful children's book, Snowman in Paradise, which was published in 2004.
Illustrations from the book:
The new book, titled Snowman in Africa, will be exclusively on sale in Gucci stores and on Gucci.com from November 16-December 31, 2009 with a retail price of USD $25. Gucci will donate 100% of the retail price of the book to UNICEF.
Concurrent with the launch of Snowman in Africa in-store, Giannini has also designed exclusive Gucci accessories as well as a Gucci Gift Card to benefit UNICEF, all of which are inspired by Michael Roberts’ magical illustrations featured in the book.
Two new medium sized Gucci Joy handbags feature Roberts’ distinctive and whimsical illustrations in a rich appliqué version and a sportier print version:
Symbolic charms representing characters from the book act as key rings or add-on charms to any accessory.
The collection also features a playful, animated print on small leather goods, including a wrist wallet and coin purse.
New for this year's campaign is the launch of a special edition Gift Card benefiting UNICEF, which ranges in value from $50 - $5,000 USD, again featuring inspiring illustrations from the book.
Frida Giannini said, “Michael Roberts did not hesitate for a moment when I invited him to collaborate on our 5th anniversary project to benefit UNICEF. His children's books are magical and he has touched so many people with his brilliant artistry. Now with his wonderful Snowman in Africa, we are able to continue making a difference to the many children whose lives will improve because of UNICEF's great work.”
The Joy Bags, charms, small leather goods, and Gift Cards will all be on sale in Gucci stores in over 20 countries from November 16 to December 31, 2009, and 25% of the retail price of each item will be donated to UNICEF.
Michael Roberts commented, "When the Snowman traveled to a tropical isle in 2004 in Snowman in Paradise, it was supposed to be his first and only voyage. But thanks to Gucci and UNICEF the Snowman has the opportunity to ride again and is now off to Africa. It is particularly appropriate that Gucci, an Italian company, is involved in his latest adventure, as the initial Snowman idea was born at a friend’s house in Venice over Christmas 2001.”
above: Michael Roberts' first book,Snowman in Paradise
The annual Gucci Campaign to Benefit UNICEF has consistently supported education, healthcare, protection and clean water programs for orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS in sub-Saharan Africa. In this highly active five-year period, Gucci has succeeded in committing over $7 million to UNICEF. This significant sum is a testament to the increased scale and scope of the company’s support, and has resulted in Gucci’s current status as the largest corporate donor to UNICEF’s “Schools for Africa” campaign. “Schools for Africa” aims to increase access to quality basic education for all children, with a special emphasis on helping the most disadvantaged—girls, orphans, children living in extreme poverty and other vulnerable children. In past campaigns, Gucci funds have focused on Malawi and Mozambique, and this year Gucci will add support for a third country, South Africa. In these three countries, over 2.3 million children have been orphaned by the HIV/AIDS pandemic.
"Gucci's collaboration with UNICEF has produced important results in the last five years, thanks ultimately to the interest and enthusiasm of our customers,” remarked Gucci CEO Patrizio di Marco. "We are proud of what has been achieved so far and are committed to ensuring that this partnership continues to be the foundation for our humanitarian efforts worldwide."
"For most of Africa's children -- particularly orphans and children affected by HIV/AIDS -- education represents a way out of a life of entrenched poverty” said Nichole Brown, UNICEF Chief of Corporate and Foundation Fundraising “By providing children with access to a quality education in a safe and protective environment, we are building better lives for not only these children, but future generations as well."
(all images courtesy of Gucci)