MILAN, Italy- On May 14, the World Food Programme (WFP) named Franca Sozzani, Vogue Italia’s editor-in-chief, as its new Global Ambassador Against Hunger. In her new role, Sozzani will work with WFP to increase visibility for humanitarian crises as well as fundraise. Sozzani has expressed her determination to visit each WFP operation on which she works in the coming years.
Sozzani plans to visit Rwanda in July and Dubai for a fundraising event next October. When commenting on her trip to Rwanda, she stated that her main focus in her new role is to target education for young girls in critical areas around the world. When explaining her vision for increasing education, she stressed that her “goal is to bring children to school and create a new generation.”
At the announcement of Sozzani’s new position, Ertharin Cousin, WFP executive director, recognized Sozanni’s past actions and her work with Vogue Italia. He specifically praised her “attention to the potential of girls and women in Africa and their empowerment through professional trainings and education.” When expressing her gratitude for the position, Sozzani emphasized, “I don’t see this recognition as an award, but it’s a new job which will push me to find concrete answers to a series of problem affecting a lot of people in the world.”
This will not be her first time fighting for humanitarian causes. Prior to her new role, Sozzani has also served as an ambassador for Fashion4Development, a global partnership between the fashion industry and the United Nations that aims to support the Millennium Development Goals. As editor-in-chief, Sozzani has also published several articles focused on fighting racism and raising awareness for humanitarian issues such as women’s rights. Additionally, she organizes bi-annual AIDS fundraising events in Milan. The next will take place on June 12.
Adding hunger to her list of humanitarian focuses was a clear next step for Sozzani. She explains this when she emphasized the need for action regarding hunger because “no person can live without nourishment, and food and water are the two fundamental elements for survival.” Upon accepting her new role, Sozzani explained the necessity of working to end hunger and improving agricultural industries, not only to feed people, but also to create jobs.
As someone highly respected in the fashion industry, Sozzani is determined to emphasize “creativity and paying attention to what’s new,” as she says these are the two pillars of her new role in “tearing down cultural and social barriers in order to create a better world.” She did this with her “Rebranding Africa” campaign with Vogue Italia where she used the magazine to try to transform the way people look at issues in Africa. In order to change participation and advocacy, she explains, it is essential to change the way the rest of the world sees Africa’s potential.
The first fashion icon to join the group, Sozzani is now a part of a powerful team of celebrity WFP Ambassadors including Drew Barrymore, Christina Aguilera, philanthropist Howard Buffett and marathon runner Paul Tergat.
Sources: Devex, World Food Programme, Fashion Times, Women’s Wear Daily