News Stories, 20 December 2006
LONDON, United Kingdom, December 20 (UNHCR) – Legendary Italian fashion designer Giorgio Armani is toasting a better future for refugees this festive season with a limited edition mug that he has created to help support the work of the UN refugee agency.
Sporting a sleek design depicting the Mandarin character for "hope," the mug was inspired while the UNHCR Goodwill Ambassador was on a trip to the Chinese metropolis of Shanghai. It is available this month in stores around the United Kingdom and Italy as well as through online vendors, and will soon be available in the United States and Australia.
For every Armani mug sold, part of the income will go towards UNHCR's global work to support more than 20 million refugees and other people of concern.
"UNHCR is extremely grateful that Giorgio Armani and our other steadfast Goodwill Ambassadors are keeping the needs of refugees in mind," said Nick Van Praag, UNHCR's director of external relations. "UNHCR is almost entirely dependent upon voluntary contributions to provide vital support to millions of refugees under our care, so every donation – such as through the purchase of these beautiful mugs – will help refugees."
The exclusive drinking mug is part of the "Whatever It Takes" range from 21st Century Leaders – a subsidiary of British charity Trade Plus Aid. The unique artistic initiative has encouraged stars from the worlds of sport, fashion, music and film to create a piece of original artwork representing a message of "Hope for a better future."
Other celebrities who have created designs to benefit specific charities include actors Sir Roger Moore, Nicole Kidman and George Clooney. The initial range of 12 mugs will be followed some time next year by a range of decorative plates.
Armani has worked with the UN refugee agency on a number of activities since becoming a goodwill ambassador in 2004. He and his acclaimed fashion company have made significant contributions to UNHCR's public awareness and fund-raising efforts for refugees, particularly during emergencies.
By Karen Wagstaff in London, United Kingdom