The earthquake in Nepal took place on April 25, but the death toll continues to rise and the aftermath of the natural disaster continues to take effect. The fashion world is doing its part to aid those suffering in the region, as designer Prabal Gurung has launched a campaign to aid earthquake victims.
Since Gurung was raised in Kathmandu, the capital city that was largely effected by the tragedy, his non-profit, The Shikshya Foundation, which was initially founded to provide education for unprivileged children in Nepal, has since shifted its focus to earthquake relief. The Shikshya Foundation launched a crowdsourcing campaign which has raised $325,000 so far and as of press time.
According to Business of Fashion, Gurung still has friends and family in the region, who are keeping him informed of how things are shaking out in the hub of the tragedy.
Efforts are being focused on remote villages, which have been eviscerated. "They are our priority," Gurung told BoF. "The thing is that the initial stages of rescue [medical support and emergency shelters] are already happening, but the next stage of funding will be difficult and I want to help during that time."
If you are able, you can donate to Gurung's earthquake victim aid campaign.
The designer also used his social media accounts to communicate with his followers and to enlist their help.
But the short term is not the sole focus of Gurung's efforts. Since so many historical landmarks, treasures, and locations, such as temples, were destroyed by the quake, Gurung wants the fund to continue to provide assistance for long after the initial cleanup and support phase. That is why he thinks that calling on his professional community in the fashion world is of utmost importance, getting it to mobilize through donating where it can and not just in the moment.
He told BOF, "Nepalese culture is historically rooted in art and artifacts — and that is completely gone. Rebuilding that will take time. I thought whom better to understand the importance of art and culture than the fashion community? I would like to see the fashion industry get involved, not just with immediate funding but for the years and years to come.”
So this is not a "first response, only response" for the designer. He plans to keep the aid project going as long as it is needed.
He also told The Wall Street Journal that Nepal is so close to his heart, since it's "where I grew up, where my family is. I’m so deeply rooted. That's where I identify," so his upbringing there certainly informs his designs. That's what makes this such an important effort for him and the fashion community.
So not only does he have a beautiful eye, but a kind heart.
Images: Getty (2); Prabal Gurung/Instagram (1)