If you think fashion is only about aesthetic pleasure, try this on for size: Luxury department store Saks Fifth Avenue is collaborating with Saturday Night Live to benefit Key to the Cure's 2014 campaign. Key To The Cure is a component of the Women's Cancer Research Fund, a charitable organization founded by such entertainment industry tours de force as Tom Hanks, Rita Wilson, and Steven Spielberg. The foundation fundraises with the intent of backing research for the early detection of cancer in women.
Saks and the Research Fun have a long history of cooperation, including 2013's Summer campaign featuring Jennifer Aniston in a limited-edition Emilio Pucci-designed tee, whose sales proceeds were donated in their entirety to the charity. This year, Key to the Cure decided to capitalize on SNL's 40th anniversary by including the legendary comedy troupe in their campaign.
For 2014, Key to the Cure enlisted Rag & Bone to design an insouciant tee with a stylized sketch of a key to be sold exclusively at Saks, but the inclusion of SNL in the mix was a surprising maneuver. Cast members including Cecily Strong, Will Ferrell, and Ana Gasteyer are portrayed in the accompanying advertisements wearing their Key to the Cure shirts with the type of unadulterated, kooky glee which only SNL actors can truly muster. Profits from the sale of each $35 shirt will go towards cancer research.
So who masterminded this unforeseen union of fashion and humor? No one party can claim responsibility, but Kathleen Ruiz, the senior vice president of marketing and public relations for Saks had a few key ideas to share in an interview with Women's Wear Daily :
Laughter is the best medicine — and I’m a cancer survivor myself. When you go through something like that, you really don’t want to think about that. You want to go through what you have to do to get well, but you want to be able to be courageous and laugh. I think it’s terrific that they’re taking something serious and saying, ‘We believe there is a cure for this.
If the tee isn't enough to satisfy your fashion craving, designers including Alexander Wang, Suno, and Diane von Furstenburg have also chipped in to create quirky SNL-inspired style. Perhaps both altruism and fun are finally in vogue.
Image: Twitter/ Saks Fifth Avenue