2009/03/04

Renowned designers reinterpret coral jewelry

New York--Last year, the non-profit organization SeaWeb brought coral conservation to the attention of jewelry retailers and consumers, urging that coral--among the most important living organisms in the sea--is simply "Too Precious to Wear," as explained in the campaign's name.

This year, SeaWeb has asked an assemblage of renowned designers spanning the industries of fashion, jewelry and architecture to help raise awareness of the threats corals face and to illustrate alternatives to coral jewelry.

Designers including Hannah Garrison of AZU, Frank Gehry, Kimberly McDonald, Melissa Joy Manning, Jennifer Meyer, Monique Pean, Paloma Picasso, Jean Schlumberger and Vena Cava's Sophie Buhai and Lisa Mayock have all been asked to create or donate a single piece of wearable art that evokes the feel of the ocean without harming living animals.

Together, the pieces make up a one-of-a-kind collection that SeaWeb has titled "Coral Reinterpreted."

The designs made their debut during New York Fashion Week at the "Into the Woods" show of design house Untitled 11:11. The following week, on Feb. 26, the pieces were placed on Internet auction site CharityBuzz.com, where they will remain until April 30, with proceeds to benefit increased protection of precious corals.

According to SeaWeb, corals supply shelter and food for 25 percent of all marine animals and provide services such as fishing, tourism and coastal protection that are estimated to be worth $375 billion annually. Recent scientific studies, however, estimate that 20 percent of the world's coral reefs have been lost, and 24 percent more could be lost within out lifetimes if human impacts are not reduced.

For more information on the campaign and to see the Coral Reinterpreted designs, visit the Too Precious To Wear Web site, TooPreciousToWear.org.
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