For the cast of “Orange is the New Black,” fashion modeling is the new model charity.
Inspired by a mock job-fair scene from the show’s new season, actresses from the popular Netflix series set in a women's prison recently posed in professional attire for a sale that started Monday on member-shopping site Gilt.com. For every item sold online, an item will be donated to Dress for Success, a nonprofit organization geared toward providing professional attire to disadvantaged women.
"We were as excited as the rest of the TV-obsessed universe for season two of Orange is the New Black, so when Netflix approached us about highlighting this specific episode and the Dress for Success angle, we were immediately on board," Gilt editorial director Tracey Lomrantz Lester said via email.
"In terms of the philanthropic aspect, we found it incredibly refreshing to see the show take on such a sensitive subject -- the cyclical nature of the prison system and the lengths a woman must go to in order to break out of it -- in such a down-to-earth way."
Although the show portrayed a simulated job fair, the sale features more than 300 designer items, many of which will go to real women in search of economic independence.
"We hope that through this campaign, we can lift the stigma associated with women who were once incarcerated and focus on the professional potential that each woman possesses," said Joi Gordon, chief executive officer of Dress for Success International, which recently launched a pilot program in New York to begin offering its career development programs to women who are still completing prison sentences, so they will be ready to look for jobs when they are freed.
"The clothing that this sale will provide for our women will act as a suit of armor as they tackle both the workforce -- and the world," Gordon said in a statement. "Once they step into these outfits, they are able to reconcile their past transgressions and focus on their future successes."
The collection includes heels, satchels, glasses, earrings, belts, and dresses valued between $50 and $3,500. The sale is scheduled to continue until June 20.