WAG wanted to bring to your attention three stories of organizations, two of which we’ve regularly featured and one new to us, that are giving back to the world in novel ways:
A gorilla in his midst
Valmont has long been one of our favorite skincare and perfume lines, one that justifies the word luxe. But we didn’t realize just how deep ran the artistic talents of Didier Guillon, president of the Valmont Group and of the eponymous foundation.
Last year while visiting the Berlin Zoo with youngest daughter Valentine, he fell under the spell of Ivo, its star gorilla. Something in the animal’s magisterial air and monolithic stance reminded Guillon of Pablo Picasso’s cubism and he began to imagine another life for the sensational simian, one in which he would set himself free and step into the world of drawing, painting and sculpture.
Since Ivo couldn’t do that, Guillon did it for him, creating a series of 30 works — sketches and collages reminiscent of Piet Mondrian, a Murano glass bas-relief that reminds us of the jewel-colored masks that embellish Valmont’s five Storie Veneziane fragrances, metal sculptures that recall Auguste Rodin. These works also underscore the precarious situation of this land-dwelling mammal, which shares 98 percent of human DNA and is threatened by loss of habitat, poaching and disease.
In October, Valmont exhibited the works under the title “The Elegant Symmetry of the Gorilla,” with 100 percent of the proceeds from two editions of two of the works going to One Drop, an international nonprofit committed to bringing safe drinking water to communities in need. (Valmont also donated $10 for every product sold at Saks Fifth Avenue and the Spa Valmont at Hôtel Plaza Athénée — both in Manhattan — to One Drop during the months of October and November.)
Giving back has always been a core value of the Valmont Group.
Somehow we imagine Ivo would approve.
One of the works is on display at Valmont’s new beauty counter at Saks Fifth Avenue’s Manhattan flagship and the other piece is on display at Spa Valmont at Hôtel Plaza Athénée, both in Manhattan. Each piece costs $1,000 and interested buyers can call Valmont at 646-861-3679 to purchase them. “The Elegant Symmetry of the Gorilla” will be shown in Munich Jan. 10-Feb. 17, 2019; Ginza, Japan Oct. 1-7 and Berlin, Nov. 7-30. For more, visit onedrop.org.
The United States Tennis Association in White Plains is dedicated not only to growing the game of tennis from local schoolchildren through the professional ranks but to helping underserved youth through its foundation’s National Junior Tennis & Learning (NJTL) network.
Recently, The USTA Employee Green Committee visited the Ronald McDonald House of the Greater Hudson Valley at the Westchester Medical Center in Valhalla to donate 9,000 metal tops from tennis ball cans used at the 2018 US Open. Why the can tops? Ronald McDonald House trades them at local recycling centers for cash at the current market value. The money is used to offset the cost of staying at the house for families of traumatically injured and critically ill children. The 85 pounds of lids that the Green Committee collected will cover the cost of a family’s stay for a week.
Last year, more than 2.2 million tabs covered the cost of more than 60 nights.
Meanwhile, the committee’s efforts keep it true to its environmentally friendly mission.
Talk about serving nothing but aces.
For more, visit usta.com.
Parenting olive trees
The new kid on the WAG block is London-based Nudo Adopt, featuring Italian olive oil with a twist.
Company director Katharine Doré was taken with the environmental inspiration behind Yorkshire artist Michelle Freemantle’s ceramic designs when she saw her work at a London gallery. This led to cruets, bottles for serving oil at table, in the colors of Italy — yellow for its radiant sunshine, green for its lush countryside and blue for its midnight sea.
Now you can adopt an olive tree in one of the company’s eight groves either singly ($79) or through a $145 handmade pourer gift set.
All adoptive parents receive a certificate acknowledging their support of olive farmers and the Italian countryside.
And no naming the “kid” Oliver or Olivia.
For more, visit nudoadopt.com.