The Uniform Project
AUTHOR Eliza Starbuck
PHOTOGRAPHS Ian Harris and Eliza Starbuck
Hi, this is Eliza, the designer of the dress that was at the heart of the Uniform Project. I am very proud to have volunteered my expertise to the initial 1-year challenge that Sheena undertook. And I am very honored that she wore the dress that I designed for her. Although we are going our separate paths, the dress will continue as a testament to the passion of many women who believe that personal style comes from within and not following outside trends. I started Bright Young Things to extend beyond the mission of the Uniform Project and to make the dress accessible to all women who follow the beat of their own drum. The spirit of the dress lives on through Bright Young Things and so will the Uniform Project and its next initiative.
Not only did I design the Uniform Project dress, but I also produced the first line of 365 Limited Edition dresses, which contributed over $10,000 to our fundraising efforts for the Akanksha kids. At this early stage of Bright Young Things, I am looking for a non-profit to partner with in the near future. I whole-heartedly recommend anyone who wants to donate to charity to do so. The Akanksha Foundation does great work to help impoverished Indian school children. You can learn more about the production, fabric, sourcing of the dress at the Bright Young Things website. Here’s a little info about my adventures with the Uniform Project…
Good ideas can come anytime, from anywhere; but great achievements take the hard work of dedicated believers. It was in this spirit that I embarked on a collaboration with Sheena Matheiken that would become The Uniform Project.
I was leaving the fashion industry – weary of its wastefulness and the hyper-consumerism it engenders, but still fascinated by original style and looking for a way to inspire myself. Sheena was bored at her office job; she wanted to give herself a creative and philanthropic challenge. When we met, neither of us knew that we were starting on a great adventure that would take us around the world; along the way, we met many bright young things who helped advance our cause in so many important and unforeseen ways.
As Sheena styled her way through a 365 day Wear-A-Thon, we learned what a little creativity, an abundance of personal style, and the strong desire to help others could do.
Would you ever wear the same dress for a year, whether to raise awareness, raise money, save money, save natural resources, challenge yourself creatively, or just to remember what your closet can do for you?