Friday, January 28, 2011

fashion + passion = down under

As each day progresses, our global economy is becoming smaller and more dependent on the economic climate and model of others. When the price of crude oil increases in the Middle East, the price of corn in rural America increases, and the price of an apple in London increases, and the price of a train ticket in Sao Paolo increases, and the price of fish in Norway increases. We're all in this together. As China and other countries are developing into strong economic forces, I've been watching how the luxury fashion industry has responded. Observations included: Burberry creating a collection exclusively for the Japanese market called Burberry Black Label. Hermes opened an exclusively Chinese centered company called Shang Xia.

We've also seen a huge increase in corporate philanthropies. Computer pioneer Microsoft saw CEO Bill Gates leave to start his own incredibly well-funded foundation. Power players from across many segments of industries are seen with (Product) RED - from Giorgio Armani to The Gap to Motorola to Apple.

There's an Australian department store called David Jones that I've been following for a few years now.

DJ is not just Australia's oldest department store -it's the longest running department store, operating under the same name, the whole world over! Mr. Jones immigrated to Australia from Wales and opened his lavish store, with the promise of selling the best the world has to offer, with a focus on providing the everyday wants of today's shopper.

DJ has always been a future-minded business. Taking the accolade as the country's first department store, to bringing the "European Department Store" concept to the land down under, to installing Sydney's first hydraullic elevator. At the turn of the 20th century, DJ broke from the dependence on foreign imports by opening their own factory, Marlborough Street, which just hapepned to be the largest of its kind in Australia. Here, they manufactured a huge variety of goods from clothing to cabin trunks. In the 1920s, Charles Lloyd Jones moved his grandfather's company even more into the future when he purchased an entire city block in, what was preceived to be at the time, a remote area on Elizabeth Street. The now landmark location, which has been DJ's flagship since opening in 1927, single handedly changed the landscape of Hyde Park and moved the focus on fashion, literally and physically.

During World War II, DJ weathered the stormy economy and social environment. Converting part of a store into a club for soldiers and military personnel, and evening housing the Ministry of Munitions in their Market Street store. And in fabulous fashion, just as the war was ending, DJ was the first purveyor to show the New Look collection of Mr. Christian Dior - the very first to see the collection outside of Paris.

And now, DJ has struck the power of pink. I always take into special account when businesses of any industry, but especially my beloved luxury fashion industry, intertwine philanthropy into their core values.

Listed under their typical menu of services, including corporate accounts, gift registries, gift cards, and price matching, is the atypical "Rose Clinic". Since 2003, DJ has partnered with BreastScreen NSW and BreastScreen VIC to provide services at their incredibly unique on-site Breast Screen Clinic for women at their Elizabeth Street flagship.

The Rose Clinic provides a range of health services for women: mammography, blood pressure monitoring, blood tests and heel ultrasound screening to assist in the diagnosis of osteoporosis.

The aim of the The Rose Clinic is to make these vital health screens more accessible for women. The environment is welcoming and comfortable, and the services are absolutely free. All women are welcome, especially if you are aged between 50 and 69.

Our partners in The Rose Clinic are experts in their fields. The government-funded BreastScreen NSW provides free screening mammograms to help with the early detection of breast cancer. The Royal Hospital for Women is the only specialist women’s hospital in New South Wales, and has an outstanding reputation for care.

I couldn't imagine a more suited partnership - fashion + passion = David Jones.

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