Last night ELLE joined Erin O’Connor and Camilla Batmanghelidjh, the founder and CEO of the Kids Company charity, at the Folli Follie flagship store on New Bond Street. Many of the guests, Jade Parfitt and Portia Freeman among them, had brought along their kids, who were being entertained by a balloon artist called Twistina.
So it wasn’t your average fashion party – but then it wasn’t an average launch either. The accessories brand has re-worked their collection, Heart4Heart, in the Kids Company signature bright pink, and will donate 25% of sales directly to the charity – funding that will go to support the work it does for vulnerable children.
We caught up with Erin for a few words on why she wanted to get involved in the event. She told us, ‘I’ve always been in awe of Camilla. Ever since I saw her do a TV interview once – not to mention the brilliant painting of her [by artist Dean Marsh] in the National Portrait Gallery – it’s been an ambition of mine [to work with her].’
She explained how important the work of Kids Company is. ‘I just think what they do is so amazing, and the children… all children should have love and be a priority to their parents and we take that as a given, but the children Kids Company helps don’t have that. They have limits imposed on them from outside which they have no control over. ’
Erin thinks that the fashion industry is a good platform from which to support charities. 'Because we’re such a visual industry it’s a great way to get people’s attention. And Folli Follie are great too: the pink bracelets – why not?’
She also talked about spending time on holiday in Ireland where not everyone in the village is quite clear on what her job is. 'They refer to me as a beauty queen. As in, “Have you met Erin? She’s a beauty queen you know." I quite like it!’