A Helping Hand

The fashion and art worlds joined together for Project Paz’s annual benefit

Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea and Jason Wu

What: The 4th Annual Project Art benefit and auction hosted by Project Paz, a non-profit promoting peace in Ciudad Juarez, Mexico. “We started [Project Paz] about 4 years ago,” said Eugenia Gonzalez Ruiz-Olloqui, who founded the group along with a team of friends from the fashion and art worlds. “Things in Juarez were getting so bad and we thought it was time we do something to help.”

When: Monday, October 21st.

Where: 82 Mercer Street.

Who: Designers Jason Wu and Thakoon Panichgul came to show their support, while guests like co-host Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea, Valerie Boster, and Monique Péan took in the more than 40 artworks on the block.

Why: With nearly all of the art sold, the event raised over $100,000 for after-school programs in Ciudad Juarez. A selection of photographs shot by the Project Paz students and curated by sisters Phoebe and Annette Stephens proved particularly popular. “We wanted [the images] to show the point of view of the kids, and to include a visual component that shows that you’re in Mexico,” said Phoebe. “They actually look a lot like what you see out there in the art world now!” exclaimed Annette, impressed with the students’ obvious skills. “It’s exciting that the kids are putting themselves out there like this.”

Photos: A Helping Hand

Sofia Sanchez Barrenechea and Jason Wu. Photo by

Kyleigh Kuhn. Photo by

Michael Bastian and Eugenia Gonzalez. Photo by

Thakoon Panichgul and Karla Martinez. Photo by

Valerie Boster, Kate Foley, and Max Osterweis. Photo by

Phoebe and Annette Stephens. Photo by