Activist fashion designer Myriam Chalek is changing the world both on and off the catwalk.
She’s constantly challenging the beauty standards of her industry, celebrating models with dwarfism on her runways. She’s given survivors of sexual assault a voice, letting them recount their own #MeToo stories during this year’s New York Fashion Week. She’s all about inclusion and equality, something that inspired her to use blind and visually impaired models at Paris Fashion Week a few years ago. And when she’s not opening up our minds through fashion, the 30-year-old is travelling the world going on donation sprees!
“Being compassionate and helping should be everyone’s purpose,” the young designer explains, “as it connects us to others by creating a stronger and better world for everyone.” And that’s exactly what she does – make the world a little bit better – every time she visits underprivileged communities.
Myriam’s most recent giving spree was in Cambodia. She travelled there with non-profit organisation Donnons Leur Une Chance which translates to Give Them A Chance. Using her own funds and donations gathered through the charity, Myriam helped to distribute tools, sewing machines and 1000 chickens to families living in poverty so they can start small businesses. Her organisation donated bags of rice and is making sure remote communities have better access to clean water with at least 1000 wells on track for construction by the end of the year. Perhaps the most heartwarming moment for Myriam was seeing the excited faces of hundreds of children who were gifted bicycles, making a once-difficult commute to school, much easier.
For Myriam, her success in the fashion world is meaningless unless it has purpose. As she so eloquently puts it, “happiness can’t be reached if you leave a life of wealth without sharing it.”
This isn’t the first time Myriam has dedicated her time to helping others. She has travelled to India and Poland on similar missions to address poverty, improve health care and give kids better access to education. She’s also a supporter of refugees and has visited a number of refugee camps around the world.
If you’d like to support her work with Donnons Leur Une Chance, you can go HERE.