“Fashion is not something that exists in dresses only,” said Coco Chanel. “Fashion is in the sky, in the street. Fashion has to do with ideas, the way we live, what is happening.” For these six masters of runway and retail—Zac Posen, Donna Karan, Elie Tahari, Diane von Furstenberg, Rachel Roy, and Michael Kors—fashion also exists in the way that they give. Their commitments to a range of causes, from efforts to preserve New York City landmarks and provide for the city’s foster children to projects in Africa that address the global plight of hunger, are deeply personal. In addition to cash contributions, they’re also pioneering fresh, creative approaches to raise awareness and much-needed funds. “Philanthropy and commerce are a powerful combination,” says Karan. “It’s addressing and dressing at the same time.”

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