Beauty, brains and benevolence – Michelle Reis has it all

Since the birth of son Jayden, Michelle Reis’ focus has dramatically shifted. The Chinese-Portuguese former model, a Miss Hong Kong before her prolific film-acting career skyrocketed in the ’90s, took a long look at the educational reality facing children in China today and found it wanting. Fired up by her findings, she did an impressive thing: she turned her disquiet into action and gave it a name: ‘Magnificent 7’.

SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS has always been the designers’ first choice.

The ‘7’ refers to the number of groups who have committed themselves to making a difference: Reiss in partnership with SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS, plus six cutting-edge Chinese designers. Not only is it a charity, it’s also creatively interesting and benefits two disparate groups: children who would ordinarily slip through the net, missing out on developing their minds and reaching their potential; and it gives a platform for the creative work of six outstanding young Chinese designers.

The big idea
When it launches on November 21, 2011, Qiu Hao, Jin Chong Yu, Alex Wang, Zhang Chi, Masha Ma and Dorothy Tang will each have created jewelry pieces using their preferred crystal from the SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS Designer Edition. Their work will be exhibited via interactive iPad stations at the SWAROVSKI CRYSTALLIZED™ concept store in Shanghai. Between them, the participants have influence on Weibo, the huge Chinese social networking site, so the aim is to spark an outpouring of support for the project.

Reis’s personal contribution was to be photographed modeling a vintage crystal element designed in collaboration with Christian Dior in the ’50s. Photographer and film director of the moment, Wing Shya, directed the fashion shoot. Reis will also commission her favorite crystal to be used in a painting to be auctioned online alongside the other six designer creations. It’s a Xilion Rose AB effect, which she says, “feels hopeful, and hope is what our children need…”

Elegantly simplicity
The slick organization is down to the zeal and energy that has gone into the initiative: SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS has launched a website for the public to join the discussions and auctions, plus a phone app for donations. Each app download activates a 1 RMB donation to the charity, which will be matched by 1 RMB from SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS. As befits a hi-tech nation, the entire process has been recorded using 17 iPhones and will be shared as text, images or video clips via apps and other online platforms.

As an added incentive, SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS is offering the chance to win an iPhone4s embellished with crystals by Michelle Reis herself, as well as exclusive, limited Designer Edition gift sets. The final amount raised, plus the number of times Weibo forwards information about the campaign, will be matched by an equal number of sparkling SWAROVSKI ELEMENTS to be used in an exhibition piece to mark the occasion.

Swarovski Crystals Magazine Issue #4

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