Jewish students' Gucci fashion event

By Marcus Dysch, June 3, 2010

Chanel, Valentino, Dior, Gucci – they are some of the biggest names in fashion, more often associated with London, New York and Paris, but later this month they will feature at a charity event run by three Jewish students in Oxford.

The Red Dress Couture Ball, organised by Leo Seigal, Bryan Baum and Samantha Friedmann, is supported by leading industry figures including Harold Tillman, head of the British Fashion Council.

Former JFS pupil Leo, 19, said: "We wanted to do something to help and it was our idea to do the fashion show. We have covered our costs through donations, so all the money from tickets and the auction will go to the charities."

The team hope to raise more than £100,000 for the HELP Malawi and Teach A Man To Fish charities, which work to relieve poverty for children in Africa.

More than 600 people are expected to attend the fashion show at Oxford Town Hall on June 18.

Red dresses have been created or donated by leading designers including up-and-coming Israeli Yotan Soloman.

Leo, studying French, is combining his role with revision for exams in the same week as the show.

Also supporting the cause is Beyoncé's mother, Tina Knowles, who has designed a dress; Sir Roger Moore; and Pete Townshend.

Leo will spend two weeks in Malawi this summer seeing how the proceeds are put to use.

He said: "I never imagined we would be doing something so huge and raising so much money. We wanted to know where the money was going, how much was going directly to help the kids and this is a great way for the charities to raise their profiles in Britain.

"HELP Malawi is directly using our event to raise enough money to provide electricity for a whole hospital and that will allow them to save twice as many lives as they can now.

"It makes us so much more passionate knowing we will be helping people in such a specific way."

For tickets and auction details visit

Last updated: 3:00pm, June 3 2010