According to Page Six, socialite and girl genius Lydia Hearst is peeved that Darfur benefit-throwers kept "slapping" her name on their invites after she did a single party with them. Well, now we hear the other side of the story, in a lengthy letter from Malcolm Harris, of Designers for Darfur. EXCLUSIVE! MUST CREDIT THE PEOPLE OF WESTERN SUDAN!
As to avoid dragging Designers For Darfur into some sort of public scandal or faux feud between Lydia Hearst and myself, I have decided to share my side of the story with the Gawker after reading the article printed in today's New York Post "Exploited Name". It has been made blatantly apparent that the folks of the New York Post will not give me fair shake against their "celebrity reporter" Lydia Hearst, and I simply would like to have my side of the story told....
When Designers For Darfur was originally formed, Lydia Hearst and I agreed that we would hold periodic events and initiatives in order to raise awareness, particularly within fashion industry, as to the ongoing crisis/genocide currently taking place in Darfur.... Unfortunately, Lydia's participation in the "real work" and/or "decision making process" for these events and initiatives left a great deal to be desired. That being said, Lydia and I both have always known the deal - the trade was simple - we do "all" the real work and you use your name to promote the events (the absolute least a "co-founder" should be able to do is to show up, look pretty for the cameras, and smile)... I can assure you that I have taken no great pleasure in always having to explain Lydia's absence at every single event instead of focusing on explaining to guests what they can do to assist in ending the genocide taking place in the Sudan.
Whilst Lydia is most certainly a delightful person and I have nothing bad to say about her character, I do believe that today's breed of "socialite" simply pales in comparison to the ideals set forth by great women such as Brooke Astor, Nan Kempner, Pat Buckley and many others that felt innately compelled to participate in a lifetime of charitable efforts. I simply believe that Ms. Hearst wasn't fully aware of the seriousness nature of the "grassroots" organization that she "committed" to join. It is my belief that Ms. Hearst was under the impression that after the "runway shows" and "pretty parties" the folks in Darfur would certainly now be out of harms way.... Unfortunately a crisis as serious at the situation in the Sudan does not simply go away after the disco ball of the most recent gala stops spinning....
You must forgive me for my heartfelt response, but I don't have the luxury of being able to afford a mouthpiece or publicist to speak on my behalf therefore, I am more than willing to be Malcolm Harris/designer/activist/"party-promoter"/humanitarian/or backslash anything else... But what I do have on my side is the sheer commonsense of humanity... I continue to wish Lydia Hearst well in all of her efforts.