Monday, May 25, 2009

Latino benefit for Hispanic Scholarship Fund

Latino celebrities boost 'Think Beyond' benefit
Carolyne Zinko, Chronicle Staff Writer, May 24, 2009

Social activism and fashionistas will cross-pollinate to make "activistas" out of guests at two events this week pairing Latin fashions with charitable causes.

San Rafael entrepreneur Molly Robbins started Piensa Mas ...This shirt designed by actress Rosario Dawson will be up ...This shirt designed by actress Eva Longoria will be up fo... View More Images

Piensa Mas Alla ... Think Beyond, a runway show featuring celebrity-designed T-shirts to be sold at live auction, is coming up on Friday. The event, created by San Rafael entrepreneur Molly Robbins, is in its second year and raised $25,000 in 2008 for the Palomita Education Fund, which puts money toward college scholarships for Latinos by working with the Hispanic Scholarship Fund in San Francisco.

The fashion show, to be held at Terra SF, an event space in the SoMa district, runs $75 a ticket for general admittance and $100 for VIP admittance (including valet parking and early cocktail hour). It will focus on the live auction of T-shirts for men and women designed and autographed by 10 Hollywood celebrities such as Eva Longoria Parker, Christina Milian, Andy Garcia, Tony Romo, Rosario Dawson and others. Each celebrity will have autographed only the shirt designed and submitted for the show.

Robbins, a native of Mexico City, came to the United States to attend UC Berkeley. She runs a fashion and marketing company with two clothing lines. Palomita can mean little sweetie, popcorn or little dove, but it also means checkmark, and in Robbins' case consists of pajamas and underwear. Her second line, Chucho, is a line of T-shirts depicting graphics and logos from across Latin America that are nostalgic without being offensive - as Robbins said some designs with dice, skulls and the Virgin Mary can be.

The daughter of a lawyer, she values education.

"As corny as it sounds, I have two passions: creating through fashion, and education," she said. "I was offered a very good education and wouldn't be where I am if I hadn't had that."

According to the Pew Hispanic Center, some 21 percent of Latinos drop out of high school annually, more than twice the national average.

Celebrity-designed T-shirts will be available for sale on the Web site, but without the designer's autograph. The event will also include a silent auction.

Performance art: On Thursday, six local designers will show their lines in an evening of performance art - not a standard runway show - at Seam of Consciousness ... Fuerza Femenina to benefit Mujeres Unidas y Activas, a program that assists immigrant women with legal rights issues.

The show is run under the auspices of Faction, a group of female designers and artists hoping to raise money through art and fashion for social justice causes. The group has partnered in the past with Darfur Peace and Development, Pride at Work, and Radar with Michelle Tea, among others.

Tickets are $10 to $25, sliding scale.

The fashion show features the works of designers Rachel Znerold, Nikole Lent, Moriah Lueders, Angela Dix, Kari Koller and Lula Chapman. The evening ends with a dance party with music by DJ Altair Nouveau and Chris Vick.

Fashioning change

-- Think Beyond: 6 to 10 p.m. Fri. at Terra SF, 511 Harrison St. $75 and up. For tickets and information, go to

-- Seam of Consciousness: 8:30 p.m. Thurs. at the Rickshaw Stop, 155 Fell St. Tickets $10-$25 at the door. For information, go to

E-mail Carolyne Zinko at

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