DONT WALK is an artistic spectacle, showcasing the best in student photography, fashion and design. Internationally renowned for its eclectic mix of urban and designer fashions, DONT WALK has worked with the likes of Yves Saint Laurent, Missoni, Barbour and the House of Chanel, as well as with leading model agencies such as Next Model Management and Models 1.
Over the past 10 years, DONT WALK have raised over 拢100, 000 for various nominated charities. This year they will be donating to ZamCog, an NGO dedicated to providing education and shelter for students at the Shitima Boarding School in Zambia.
Their event just took place this past weekend, and I was lucky enough to catch up with DONT WALK’s Director, Kitty, beforehand to tell us more about their cause.
Tell me about your charity and how it got started?
DONT WALK has only just become a registered charity this year but we have been running for 10 years now. We originally started life as an event in the wake of the 9/11 bombings when a group of students came together to raise money following the attacks on their city. The idea of DONT WALK was to celebrate New York, its energy and its style whilst raising money for those affected by the attacks. From that start all those years ago we鈥檝e continued growing and developing establishing ourselves as a platform for students to express themselves through art, fashion, photography and design. Each year we pick a different charity to support and have raised over 拢100,000 for various different causes, and this year we鈥檙e supporting ZamCog, a humanitarian charity that provides education and shelter for children at the Shitima boarding school in Zambia. This year we鈥檝e also gone back to our roots, exploring the origins of creativity that motivated that very first show, to set a new precedent for artistic expression for the next 10 years!
You guys have support from some pretty big names in the industry. How did you manage to build these powerful relationships?
I think one thing that really inspires people to get involved with our cause is the enthusiasm we all have for what we do. A lot of people are genuinely keen to be involved with something that provides young people with a platform to express themselves creatively. It鈥檚 been fantastic working with so many influential and inspirational people over the years, I鈥檓 just excited to see who we manage to get hold of next!
Give us the scoop about the event at Saint Andrews University
The event鈥檚 being held on 10th of March, and we鈥檒l be hosting just over 1,000 altogether at a venue, called the Kinkell Byre just outside of St. Andrews. There鈥檒l be 550 guests attending the show itself and another 500 coming to the after party. Our runway event is by far and away the best thing about DONT WALK, with all the models, choreographers and creative team having worked on it all year, saying that, the after-party is also always a huge success! This year we鈥檒l be hosting the C90s as our headline act, along with a number of other really talented DJs. There鈥檒l be corporate sponsors, members of the press, designers, models, photographers, not to mention students from the university itself!
Can you give us some info about your upcoming online shop, and what we can expect in terms of brands/styles you’ll be stocking?
We鈥檝e been pulling pieces together for our online store throughout the year. We鈥檒l be stocking mostly vintage finds that we鈥檝e picked up over the past couple of months, as well as a couple of hidden surprises. I don鈥檛 want to give away too much at this stage, but once it鈥檚 up it鈥檒l be a permanent fixture on our site and all the profits will be donated directly to our charity, ZamCog!
Please tell us a bit about DW in Zambia
Being in Zambia was incredible, a truly life changing experience. Personally, I feel it has solidified everything that we have been working towards and really confirmed exactly why it is we鈥檙e doing it. We鈥檝e always been closely involved with the charities we鈥檝e supported but this year, seeing ZamCog鈥檚 work in action and meeting those involved and the wonderful children they give a future to was unbelievably moving. It was a trip I will never forget.
We wanted to make sure we let the children speak for themselves about their experiences, and about what they think about the charity and it鈥檚 work. Just talking with them about their lives was truly inspirational and we wanted to share that feeling with others so we decided to make a video of the time we spent whilst we were our there, it can be found at聽dontwalkfashion.com/
What can we expect from DW in the future years?
Each year we select a new committee and reshuffle long standing committee members to breathe new life into the show. DONT WALK will continue to explore new ideas, play with new concepts, and experiment with new art forms to keep our aesthetic continually moving, and keep it evolving. It鈥檚 getting bigger and better with each year that passes so watch this space!