Misc

Mercado Global Hosts Gala and Auction

by Kristopher Fraser Photographed by Mary Alice Stephenson
Thursday, October 20, 2016
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The Bowery Hotel is a very interesting space to navigate with its winding staircases and maze like hallways. It is an old manor style of building, but the interior design does draw you in with the dimly lit lighting. It has a bit of a 1930s feel to it, giving the illusion that you are stepping back in time.

The hotels dining hall and ballroom was the site of Mercado Global’s 2016 Gala, which this year honored Mary Alice Stephenson, the founder of GLAM4GOOD, with their Fashion Forward Visionary Award.

At 6:30, guests got to enjoy a cocktail reception. The crowd of people invited was very broad in age and career fields. Watching the connection between people in the fields of finance, technology, journalism and fashion rub elbows with each other as they discussed the state of philanthropy, their interests in giving and what brought them there spoke to the intricacies of human connection. You might not think that a tech head and a jewelry designer have anything in common, but philanthropy can bring a lot of people together.

As guests were seated at one of the almost two dozen tables, they were presented with a bed of mozzarella cheese and tomatoes. Waiters came around to adorn the tables with bread, and of course, there was the always infamous question “red or white?” In relation to their wine choices.

The work Mercado Global is doing is certainly one of a kind. The social enterprise was founded with the intention of empowering women artisans and to shift the fashion industry towards more sustainable business practices. Sustainability has become a hot topic conversation in the fashion industry right now, with major designers like Prabal Gurung recently discussing their commitment to sustainability.

At the event last night, Padma Lakshi served as honorary chair. The innovative, Indian-born author, actress, model and television host was honored by Mercado Global last year.

The organization’s partner artisans in Guatemala represent one of the world’s most marginalized populations – rural indigenous women. Mercado Global provides business education and leadership programs to help these women become agents of change in their communities. They then connect them with large-scale sales opportunities so they can turn these skills into income – from stores like Anthropology to a special collaboration with Pamela Love.

The organization also makes it clear that their impact may not always be felt immediately, but that economic change is incremental. They hope to build better economic conditions for their daughters and granddaughters, by first lifting up these women artisans working now.

“I am honored to receive this award on behalf of GLAM4GOOD. Both Mercado Global and GLAM4GOOD see style as an agent for change and an avenue to empower social impact. That’s the perfect combination in my book,” said Stephenson.

Other notable attendees to the event included Donna D’Cruz, Indira Cesarine, Yaz Hernandez, Zoe Silverman, Tommy Silverman, Ruth DeGalia, Alexis Bittar, Olga Morales, Jackie Horowitz, Meg Koglin and Laura Webb.

Visit Mercado Global’s website at mercadoglobal.org.


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