The Uniform Project was a brilliant project begun in 2009 (I reported upon it about halfway through) by founder Sheena Matheiken. She decided, as a reaction to her career in the materialistic doldrums of advertising, to create and wear a single design of dress every day for a single year, reinventing it with reused, recycled, or donated accessories. The result was a year of stories about personal style, about the stories that inhabit our objects, and a refreshing retreat from design as a reason and engine for simply blowing money. Sheena raised money through donations and sales of copies of her dress for the Akanksha Foundation, which provides education to Indian children living in slums.
Since then, Sheena’s reinvented the project as a series of Pilots. Each Pilot is handpicked, and each one is the same notion Sheena began—a different girl, a different little black dress, reinvented daily, and a different cause each month. The first Pilot, India Salvor Menuez, just completed her run, donating over $1500 to her pet cause, Our School at Blair Grocery in the lower 9th of New Orleans. It’s an independent school for kids in the community most affected by Katrina in 2005. I’m excited to see this notion of design as excitement-maker, as public charity, begin to grow.