Giving back is the new black | Fashion | Indy Week
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Giving back is the new black 

Of all the seven deadly sins, it seems vanity gets the worst rap. Just ask Lucifer, Narcissus or Eve. But with fall's "more is more" mentality, stuffing your closet full of this season's wide-leg jeans, rope necklaces and oversized envelope clutches can be almost as tempting as that infamous shiny red apple—which, by the way, would be a great inspiration for a bold slick of lip color to finish it all off.

Luckily, altruistic salons and boutiques across the Triangle are stepping in to combat our prideful ways with a heavenly virtue of their own. With the combination of charity and clothes, perhaps it is possible to strike a balance between sin and sainthood by looking good while feeling good.

In that spirit, we dressed Shannon, Brittani and Kate in clothes sold at area retailers connected to local and international charities and asked them to display the outfits next to model citizens giving blood at Durham's American Red Cross donation center, located at 4737 University Drive in southwest Durham.

click to enlarge Click for larger image • Brittani Patterson stands in front of a portrait of Dr. George Hitchings, 1988 Nobel Prize-winner for medicine, Burroughs-Wellcome executive and namesake of the Durham Red Cross facility, wearing an animal-print sweater from Bargain Box, jean shorts by Beija Flor, and a black clutch and Minnetonka boots, both from Bargain Box. - PHOTOS BY JEREMY M. LANGE
  • Photos by Jeremy M. Lange
  • Click for larger image • Brittani Patterson stands in front of a portrait of Dr. George Hitchings, 1988 Nobel Prize-winner for medicine, Burroughs-Wellcome executive and namesake of the Durham Red Cross facility, wearing an animal-print sweater from Bargain Box, jean shorts by Beija Flor, and a black clutch and Minnetonka boots, both from Bargain Box.
click to enlarge Click for larger image • Kate wears embroidered Beija Flor pocket jeans, a printed scarf from Bargain Box; brown tortoise necklaces from Cat Banjo and her own T-shirt. - PHOTOS BY JEREMY M. LANGE

Retailers and Collectors

American Red Cross—Four locations in Raleigh, Cary and Durham; www.trianglearc.org. Donating blood never goes out of style. You may not be able to buy any clothes, but you do get a choice of a neon purple, pink, yellow or green bandage to go home in.

Cat Banjo—2043 Cameron St., Raleigh; 833-6711. This colorful Cameron Village staple sells jewelry, bags and more and works closely with animal shelters across the state along with A.R.F., its own charity for four-legged friends.

Click for larger image • Shannon Laird donates blood while wearing a T-shirt from Za Za Zsu and black and brown bangles from Cat Banjo. - PHOTOS BY JEREMY M. LANGE

Za Za Zsu—1918 Perry St., Durham; 286-9292. Lynda Lewis' hip mix of haute couture pieces sits alongside the "Durham Can You Dig It?" T-shirt, sales of which provide aid to Durham students who are the first of their families to go to college.

The Bargain Box—401 Woodburn Road, Raleigh; 833-7587. Since opening its doors in 1951, the high-end thrift store has funneled more than $1 million dollars back into Wake County charity organizations. Rumors of recent finds include an authentic Prada bag and a Burberry button-down.

Galatea—10 W. Franklin St. in Raleigh; 833-8565. This is the only place in the Triangle you'll find Beija Flor jeans, a Brazilian line of jeans that donates part of its proceeds to the nonprofit Hummingbird Conservancy.

Click for larger image • After the blood, snacks and fluids: Kate Thompson wears wide leg jeans from Beija Flor, available locally at Galatea, and a Pierre Cardin button-down from Bargain Box. - PHOTOS BY JEREMY M. LANGE

Aveda Institute—200 W. Franklin St. in Chapel Hill; 960-4769. Get your hair cut for a fraction of the typical cost and donate what you would normally pay for those highlights to the learning salon's Tips for a Cause. Because students can't get paid, all tips are donated to a variety of environmentally inspired charities.

Great Outdoor Provision Co.—Four locations in Raleigh, Durham and Chapel Hill; www.greatoutdoorprovision.com. Its third annual coat drive trades any clean used jackets for 20 percent off the regular price of any outerwear in the store and has been extended through Saturday, Nov. 18. More than 2,000 coats were donated in 2006 to N.C. Rescue Missions.

E-mail fashion ideas to fashion@indyweek.com.

  • Of all the seven deadly sins, it seems vanity gets the worst rap. Just ask Lucifer, Narcissus or Eve.

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