There’s something special inside every package of Empowered By You panties: an insert card that tells the inspirational story of a real woman in a developing country whose life was changed by your purchase.
Launched last night at a reception in New York, Empowered By You is the highly anticipated revenue product developed by the Seven Bar Foundation to help finance the business ideas of women entrepreneurs in impoverished countries.
The concept is simple: Empowered By You offers a range of high-quality laser-cut Brazilian thongs, sold in packs from countertop displays at lingerie shops for about $20 each. And $1 from every pair sold goes into Seven Bar‘s microfinance pool, which provides loans to women around the world.
Seven Bar — its name references the symbolic ladder that provides a pathway out of poverty — is already familiar to people in the lingerie industry for its elaborate runway shows that attract A-list celebrities and influential powerbrokers.
Events in Miami (2009) and New York (2010) showcased major designer brands such as Fifi Chachnil, Carine Gilson, Atsuko Kudo and Agent Provocateur. The organization has lingerie shows scheduled for London and Shanghai this fall.
To date, proceeds from Seven Bar‘s shows have generated about $400,000 in proceeds that have directly impacted more than 3,000 women entrepreneurs. Seven Bar works by identifying (and vetting) local microfinance institutions around the world that provide small loans to impoverished women.
The Empowered By You product line has the potential to dramatically boost Seven Bar‘s revenues and its ability to support women.
The panty was designed by Hun Kim (formerly with Ralph Lauren) and features a patented silicone technology and fused seam to create a “second skin” feel. It comes in five colorways and bears the label’s distinctive ladder logo.
The Seven Bar Foundation was launched in 2009 by Renata Mutis Black, who had previously set up microfinance projects in India while helping to rebuild villages there after the 2004 tsunami.
With serious credentials as an anti-poverty advocate — she studied with Nobel prize winner Muhammad Yunus — Renata enlisted support for Seven Bar‘s work from some of the showbiz world’s most compelling figures. Actress/activist Eva Longoria hosted and Deepak Chopra spoke at the first lingerie show in Miami, while Sofia Vergara and Michelle Rodriguez fronted the sold-out New York event.
Empowered By You panties (the packaging can be customized to include the purchaser’s name) will launch this summer in luxury fashion boutiques in NYC, Miami, Dallas and L.A. and then expand to UK shops and online retail channels.