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"Fashion Diplomacy: The Human Kind Institute and Fashion 4 Development Unite for Sustainable Change

Tonni86 Couture Design on Runway
Tonni86 Couture Design on Runway


In a remarkable convergence of fashion, diplomacy, and sustainable change, The Human Kind Institute (HKI) and Fashion 4 Development (F4D) recently orchestrated two extraordinary events during the 78th Session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA). The 11th Annual First Ladies Luncheon and the 3rd Annual Sustainable Goals Banquet, held in collaboration with F4D, transcended traditional fashion gatherings, bringing together global leaders, diplomats, and prominent figures from the fashion industry to celebrate Agents of Change and champion the U.N. Sustainable Development Goals.

This article looks into the powerful coming together of fashion and diplomacy, highlighting the collaborative efforts of The Human Kind Institute (HKI) and Fashion 4 Development (F4D) during the 78th United Nations General Assembly. By offering a detailed look into the missions, goals, and impact of both organizations, we aim to highlight the significance of their events—the 11th Annual First Ladies Luncheon and the 3rd Annual Sustainable Goals Banquet—and illustrate how the fashion industry can be a dynamic force for positive global change.

mannequins with gold ball gown dress
F4D Header Image

Fashion 4 Development: A Force for Change

Fashion 4 Development promotes sustainable development goals through the global fashion industry and builds upon its core principles: Education, empowerment, enhancement, and Enrichment. Under Its visionary founder, Evie Evangelou's leadership has positioned F4D as a catalyst for positive change, recognizing the industry's potential to address pressing global challenges. With a background in cultural diplomacy and international relations, Evangelou founded F4D to support the United Nations Millennium Development Goals. Her expertise, highlighted through her interim role as Deputy Secretary-General for the World Federation of the United Nations, has paved the way for F4D to emerge as a powerful platform, aligning the fashion industry with critical global objectives.

Evangelou's belief in the healing power of arts, creativity, and the preservation of culture underscores her commitment to bridging the gap between diplomacy and fashion. A Forbes interview highlights her dedication to creating a space where these two worlds come together for a common cause - positive social and environmental change.

The Human Kind Institute Header image from website
The Human Kind Institute Header

The Human Kind Institute:

The Human Kind Institute, founded by Lola Tillyaeva, is a visionary organization at the intersection of art, technology, and sustainability. Established to empower creative minds and fuel imagination, HKI recognizes that our shared consciousness and mutual benevolence are the guiding forces toward a positive future beyond technological advancements and material outcomes.

Mission and Core Philosophy:

HKI's mission is deeply rooted in the belief that by bridging the gap between art and technology, spirituality, and science, they can encourage evolutions in education and sustainable lifestyle practices. The core philosophy revolves around the idea that, before anything else, our collective history, cultural heritage, and shared benevolence will pave the way for a better world. By preserving cultural heritage, HKI provides an opportunity for self-inquiry for future generations.

2023 F4D Banquet room.  Photo by Oliver Archer
2023 F4D Banquet. Photo by Oliver Archer

U.N. General Assembly Week: A Fusion of Creativity and Diplomacy

During the U.N. General Assembly Week, HKI and F4D joined forces to host the 3rd Sustainable Goals Banquet and the 11th Annual First Ladies Luncheon. These events attracted heads of U.N. delegations, diplomats, and fashion VIPs worldwide. They honored Agents of Change, addressing critical issues such as food security, education, and environmental preservation.

Guests at F4D Event on the Green Carpet.  Photo by Oliver Archer
Guests at F4D Event on the Green Carpet. Photo by Oliver Archer

The 3rd Annual Sustainable Goals Banquet:

This event showcased a fusion of diplomacy, philanthropy, and fashion, epitomizing the fashion industry's pivotal role in shaping a sustainable future. Held on September 18th, 2023 in New York City, it embodied the theme "Healthier People, Healthier Planet." The evening commenced with opening remarks by Mayor Eric Adams and featured co-hosts Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein and F4D Founder Evie Evangelou. The event featured a "green carpet" reception, an awards ceremony, live performances by Rhythms of Brazil, and Emanne Beasha (finalist on season 14 of America's Got Talent) performing one of her signature songs. Lola Tillyaeva, the founder of HKI, announced the Human Kind Awards, honoring individuals making significant contributions to food security, education, and environmental preservation.

Among the evening's Honorees included:

  • Honorable Mayor Eric Adams, Mayor of New York City, Human Kind Institute Impact through Food Award

  • H.E. Mr. Lazarus Chakwera, President of Malawi, Gender Champion Human Kind Award.

  • Under-Secretary-General and Executive Director and Executive Directo of UN Women Dr. Sima Sami Bahous will present

  • Jasmina Bojic – the Founder of UNAFF (United Nations Association Film Festival), Impact Through Film Human Kind Award.

  • Dr. Ramon Tallaj, Founder and Chairman of SOMOS Community Care, Public Health and Community Service Human Kind Award.

  • Ingmar Rentzhog, CEO & Founder, and President Sweta Chakraborty, WDHT, Impact Through Media Human Kind Award.

  • Governor Mauro Mendes of Mato Grosso Brazil and Marcelo Carvalho de Andrade, Human Kind Award for Environmental Impact

  • Thebe Magugu (2023 Franca Sozzani Award)

table at F4D Ladies Luncheon Banquet
F4D Ladies Luncheon Banquet

The 11th Annual First Ladies Luncheon:

On the opening day of the U.N. General Assembly on September 19th, 2023, this luncheon was a grand affair co-hosted by F4D Founder Evie Evangelou and Princess Corinna zu Sayn-Wittgenstein. The event featured a "green carpet" reception, an awards ceremony, and a fashion show showcasing "Inspirations of the Ottoman Empire" by designer Mirela Nurce of Tonni86 Couture.

Runway show "Inspirations of The Ottoman Empire" by designer

Mirela Nurce of Tonni86 Couture.

Honoring the late Queen Elizabeth II in partnership with the Queen's Commonwealth Trust, the luncheon recognized individuals such as Philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, Designer Thebe Magugu, CEO of Hugo Boss Daniel Grieder, and President of S&P Global Market Intelligence Martina Cheung with prestigious awards.

Mannequins showing Queen Elizabeth Dresses Photo by Oliver Archer
Queen Elizabeth Dress Exhibit. Photo by Oliver Archer

Notably, the event also premiered the "Global Runway" book, co-authored by Evangelou and Stephanie Dillon, showcasing fashion designers from 193 countries contributing to U.N. efforts.

Alina Karimamussama with Naila Chowdhury on F4D Green Carpet .  Photo by Oliver Archer
Alina Karimamussama with Naila Chowdhury . Photo by Oliver Archer

Other Special guests and exhibitions included Freddie Toye of Toye, Kenning and Spencer, Kate McGuire (British refashion designer), Stewart Parvin (Couture fashion designer), milliner Rachel Trevor Morgan, Naila Chowdhury (Director of Social Impact and Innovation at U.C. San Diego), Alina Karimamussama (young entrepreneur), and Stephanie Dillon, who presented the launch of "Global Runway" along with Evie Evangelou. Emanne Beasha (finalist on season 14 of America's Got Talent) performed one of her signature songs.

Refashion Designer Kate McGuire showing her dress design on stage at F4D Banquet
Refashion Designer Kate McGuire from Converted Closet. Photo by Oliver Archer

Sustainable change, as exemplified by initiatives led by organizations like The Human Kind Institute (HKI) and Fashion 4 Development (F4D), holds profound benefits that extend far beyond the events of the United Nations General Assembly Week. Understanding and actively participating in sustainable practices are critical for us to comprehend, as they directly impact the collective future of our planet. Here are the key benefits of sustainable change and why we need to embrace and promote sustainability in our own lives:

tall Green Forest trees
Green Forest

  1. Environmental Preservation: Sustainable practices aim to minimize the negative impact on the environment. By adopting eco-friendly habits, we can each contribute to the conservation of natural resources, the reduction of pollution, and the protection of biodiversity. Our collective effort ensures that the beauty and vitality of the planet endure for future generations.

  2. Climate Change Mitigation: Sustainable change is crucial in mitigating climate change. By reducing carbon footprints through energy-efficient practices, responsible consumption, and support for renewable energy sources, we contribute to a healthier climate and help slow down the adverse effects of global warming.

  3. Resource Conservation: Sustainable living emphasizes responsible resource management. This includes reducing waste, recycling materials, and making mindful choices about consumption. These actions extend the lifespan of finite resources and reduce the ecological footprint, promoting a more sustainable and balanced use of the Earth's resources.

  4. Social and Economic Equity: Many sustainable initiatives, such as those championed by F4D and HKI, focus on creating a fair and just world. Supporting sustainable development goals often involves addressing social issues like poverty, inequality, and access to education. We can build a more equitable global society by advocating for and participating in sustainable practices.

  5. Health and Well-being: Sustainable living often translates to healthier lifestyles. Clean air, sustainable agriculture, and reduced exposure to harmful chemicals positively impact individual and community health. By choosing sustainable options, we support a healthier environment and contribute to the overall well-being of communities.

  6. Innovation and Technology: The pursuit of sustainability drives innovation. Supporting sustainable practices encourages the development and adoption of environmentally friendly technologies. By embracing these innovations, we contribute to the growth of a green economy and the advancement of solutions to global challenges.

  7. Long-term Economic Stability: Sustainable practices are intrinsically linked to economic stability. Embracing green technologies, responsible production, and ethical consumption can create a more resilient and sustainable economy. When we make sustainable choices, we contribute to developing a circular economy that minimizes waste and promotes long-term economic stability.

Header image for our Most Loved Consciously and Ethically Made Brands
Listing of Our Most Loved Consciously and Ethically Made Brands

Simple changes in daily habits, such as reducing single-use plastics, conserving energy, supporting ethical and sustainable brands, and advocating for responsible policies, can collectively contribute to positive global change. By actively participating in sustainability efforts, we can all become agents of change, amplifying the impact of initiatives led by organizations like HKI and F4D. The benefits of sustainable living extend beyond personal well-being, creating a ripple effect that positively influences the health of the planet and future generations.

A Vision Realized

Reflecting on these remarkable events, it is evident that the collective impact of fashion and diplomacy, guided by a commitment to sustainability and positive social change, has the potential to shape a better world. The Human Kind Institute and Fashion 4 Development have set the stage for a new era of collaboration, where fashion becomes a catalyst for meaningful global transformation. The missions of both organizations have come together, creating a powerful synergy that advocates for positive change worldwide.

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Hey there, lovely fashion friends! My name is Britta Cabanos, and I'm thrilled to have you here! 


I'm a 25+ year fashion industry design professional, and I'm passionate about supporting conscious designers, ethical makers, and sustainability. I believe that fashion can be a powerful force for good, and I'm committed to helping aspiring fashion industry pros make their mark in this exciting and ever-changing field. 


If you share my passion for conscious fashion and sustainability,  then you're in the right place. I offer industry insights, mentorship, connections, and resources to help you achieve your goals and make a positive impact in the world. Let's connect and explore the possibilities together - are you ready to join me on this exciting journey?

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