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Bid on designer duds to help people of Darfur

EBay auctions off runway fashions to aid those displaced in the region. Constance C.R. White, fashion stylist for the popular Web site, explains how you can help.
/ Source: TODAY

Fashion folk are a generous lot. For at least two decades they have made donations and raised money to combat AIDS and to fight breast cancer. Now they’ve turned their attention to the murder and displacement of millions of people in Darfur by uniting to stage a fashion show and auction.

For you, it’s a chance to shop for a cause; a chance to find wonderful, rare fashion bargains and an opportunity to be educated about a situation that affects us all.

When the idea for Designers for Darfur popped into the head of designer Malcolm Harris of the small Mal Sirrah label, he promptly called his friend, the model Lydia Hearst.

Together the duo marshaled the fashion industry. Close to 40 designers and hundreds of fashion professionals united to make the auction and the Feb. 9 runway show at New York’s Roseland ballroom a reality. Styled by celebrity stylist Alexander Allen (who also styled our TODAY segment), the show closed down Fashion Week and drew more than 1,000 guests.

Thirty styles have been selected from the runway for sale. Also included are three looks that were not in the show, but were chosen for the auction to ensure maximum shopper choice. Not only is there a wide range of styles, there are some sizes for larger women. There’s also a handbag from Gwen Stefani’s LAMB collection and fabulous, luxury shoes from Steve Madden, who made the show possible with a generous contribution.

Designers’ generosity is to the shoppers' benefit — each auction listing is comprised of two or three pieces and sometimes an entire look. Donna Karan’s spectacular caftan (fits approximately sizes 2 to 16) comes with a jersey slip dress. Nanette Lepore paired her canary yellow velvet dress with feather-trimmed coat. Two sexy red dresses from dress queen Nicole Miller come with a pair of Steve Madden shoes each.

The Designers for Darfur auction goes live Feb. 12 to Feb. 22. at ebay.com/DesignersforDarfur. All proceeds go to the Save Darfur (SaveDarfur.org) coalition based in Washington D.C.

Fashion may not be something that comes to mind when you think of war, international crisis and religious and racial intolerance, but this auction is a great way to help.