(NEW YORK)The road to heaven is paved with good intentions and right now it most definitely leads to beauty and style guru Mary Alice Stephenson. Everyone’s darling stylista really puts her efforts where her heart is: her one-of-a kind charity, Glam4Good which, come June, will be featured regularly on Mary Alice’s new HuffPo destination.
BY EDDIE ROCHE
What are you doing with HuffPo?
Next month in partnership with Huff Post Style, GLAM4GOOD will launch a destination that will feature my life in fashion, blog posts, beauty tutorials, a video series and a place to highlight the brands and people in our industry that harness the power of style to make a difference.
Why did you end up creating GLAM4GOOD?
I’ve been in the fashion and beauty industry for the last 20 years working with magazines like Harper’s Bazaar, Allure, Marie Claire, Vogue, and Seventeen. I’ve styled pretty much every style icon out there, worked with the world’s biggest brands and talked fashion on many network shows. What has kept me sane in this business is the balance I felt when I started granting fashion wishes for the Make-A-Wish Foundation.
That is such a worthy cause, isn’t it?
Yes! I felt an intense need to take what I love about the business and all of its glamour and all of the joy it’s brought to my life and share it with others in a way that was more soulful and substantive for me. We basically give life changing makeovers, dramatic giveaways and transformative fashion adventures that truly help people.
Who came up with the name GLAM4GOOD?
It was something that I said to a group of teens while hosting a style seminar and they started chanting it! I shouted, ‘Are you ready to GLAM4GOOD?’ and they started chanting GLAM4GOOD and that was it, the movement had begun. Soon all the kids from the various non-profits I do initiatives with started tweeting and hash tagging. The movement named itself.
What’s your newest initiative?
It happened just last weekend, when we styled 50 high school girls whose lives have been affected by homelessness and gun violence, for their prom. For the past four years, we have also partnered with The Bob Woodruff Foundation to pamper our wounded warriors and their caretakers. But Make-A-Wish is so close to my heart, even when I styled the cover for this issue of The Daily Summer, I had a young lady named Katie on the set whom I had met through Make-A-Wish to the set. She had a lot of fun!
That was very sweet!
Helping people was something that I had to do. I love every single aspect of my career, but when I started working for organizations and seeing the healing effect of fashion, my life changed. There’s a tremendous joy that comes from being of service. Once you experience that there is no turning back. At the end of the day I asked myself if all the magazine covers, celebrities and ad campaigns I had styled had really done anything to truly help make a difference in world. The answer was no. So I found a way I could still do what I’m passionate about and know that, when I leave this earth, I used fashion to truly change lives in a way that you can’t put a price tag on or retouch. I’ve had the honor to see fashion heal in such a profound way thanks to so many brands and people in this business.
What are some of the upcoming ways you are helping people?
I am excited to announce that we’ve partnered with The Metropolitan Museum of Art’s Costume Institute for an event this summer. GLAM4GOOD has created a DIY fashion experience for at-risk teens from Publicolor.org so teens can express their personal punk statements after being inspired by the “Punk: Chaos to Couture” exhibit.
Why is making women feel beautiful important?
We as women have so much on our plates as we try to balance it all and we’re expected to look great on top of that. We are inundated and manipulated by images of perfect looking women everywhere. Anything I can do to pamper women, give them the tools, tips and tricks that I have learned in this business to help them look and, more importantly, feel beautiful….sign me up! When we feel good about how we look it often helps us handle serious and difficult obstacles in life.
Who are your heroes in the biz?
There are so many talented big-hearted people in this business, but I would have to say Donna Karan, Ralph Lauren, Kenneth Cole and Evelyn Lauder are a few of my heroes. How these icons have used fashion and beauty to make a difference in the world has not only saved lives, but changed the way we look at the relationship between commerce and charity.
How do you react to being dubbed “fashion’s Oprah”?
I hope one day I am worthy of that title!
How can the non-fashion person help out?
Many of the volunteers we use for our initiatives whether in fashion or not reach out to us via Twitter (@GLAM4GOOD) or Facebook or on GLAM4GOOD.com so get in touch. We need your help! Anybody interested in donating can contact me at info@GLAM4GOOD.com.
Any plans to relax this summer?
Probably not, but I think a weekend in the Hamptons might do me some good!
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