Here’s a pretty cool website to share with those in need or looking to help. The Giving Closet is part of The Wardrobe Department. Both are brainchildren of Sam Russel.
A native Texan, Sam Russell has been a TV wardrobe and editorial stylist for over ten years in the Los Angeles market. Discovered as a model by power agent Page Parkes in Houston, his natural eye for wardrobe did not go unnoticed by local clients. After freelancing as an in-house stylist with the May Company, Sam ventured to southern California in May 1999. A regular on-camera style expert for NBC San Diego, Sam has worked with many notable TV personalities including producer and creator Chuck Lorre, actress Emmanuelle Vaugier, actor Jon Hamm, and actresses Sophia Bush & Melora Hardin.
Sam wrapped up his fourth TV show in December 2008 as the supervising stylist for TLC’s “Ten Years Younger” Season 4. In January 2009 Sam personally accompanied Motown legend Stevie Wonder as his supervising stylist for all his Washington, DC appearances including the Presidential Inauguration, White House Correspondents Dinner, and Library of Congress’ Gershwin Prize for Popular Song ceremony. Falling in love with the east coast, Sam relocated to the region in 2011 and is now bi-coastal.
The Wardrobe Dept. specializes in providing a full range of clothing and accessories for a variety of large scale & small scale productions. Sam works closely with clients and production designers to achieve a first-class tone to any project. In larger productions, The Wardrobe Dept. will usually have one or more Assistant Costume Designers.
So, what is the Giving Closet?
Sam donates his time to have PR offices and fashion designers donate $10,000 in work and casual attire to woman in need. “I find women ( as of now, single moms) through non profits and social workers,” says Sam.
Naturally, we had a few questions for Sam, operator of the Giving Closet. Check out his responses, below:
Bold Magazine Online: What the process is like? how do you find these women and then the sponsors to help?
Sam Russel: I find women through non-profits and social workers. I search for stories of survivors, truly self-less people that overcame odds and now give back. Women that need a hand-up, not a hand-out. I then ask the media to take a break from writing about the Kardashian’s/share the human interest angle of this person and the surprise give-away. Once items get credited, I convince PR offices and designers to donate. After working in Hollywood for so long, I have these relations now. Why not use it to help people in need?
BMO: Tell us the most touching story you’ve experienced so far.
SR: Each story is so unique and touching. The most recent was Shenee in Long Island. Single Mom of 5, she dreams of going to law school. She has no car, she owns two pairs of shoes; her personal shopping budget was $40 a month. I knew I could help; re-inspire her. I sat with Julee Wilson from The Huffington Post & Jen Phillips at Red Light PR. We put our brains together and BAM! $10,000 in work and casual attire is life-changing. I no longer want to just image celebrities, I want to also do it for real people that need it too. I am here to prove that fashion does have a heart.
BMO: Incredible! So, what’s next? What do you see for the giving closet in a year? 5 years?
SR: The next 6months to a year is TV development. I have partnered with a producer in Los Angeles and we are in the pre-packaging phase of turning this into a show. It has travel, stories of real people and my hollywood contacts. I registered this with the guild and now I just keep doing what I do. Giving Closet is flying to Nashville in a few weeks to surprise a woman, My home-town state of Texas is next; NYC, Baltimore, DC, Seattle, Toronto. I get to help promote “mom and pop” non-profits along this journey. It’s changed my life. 5 years from now, I see developing this as a non-profit. More travels of course; taking this mission to Europe and beyond!
Read More at www.givingcloset.net