A s Sotheby’s hosts an exclusive online auction celebrating the heritage of legendary shoe and leather brand Berluti, the Berluti: The Art of Craftsmanship* sale will also be raising money for charity as proceeds from one lot – a Beach Capsule Collection, autographed by supermodel and philanthropist Natalia Vodianova – will be donated to the charity she founded, the Naked Heart Foundation.
The Russian-born style icon has modelled for the biggest designers in the world including Calvin Klein, Chanel, Versace, Prada and Yves Saint Laurent, and has been featured on the cover of Vogue multiple times. In 2004, she founded the Naked Heart Foundation, an international charity that aims to help build an inclusive society that is open to people with disabilities and special needs.
Amongst the 14 bespoke lots in the sale, all of which exemplify the exceptional craftsmanship and iconic Venezia leather of Berluti, is the Beach Capsule Collection autographed by Vodianova, which comprises a beach towel, petanque set and weekend bag. With no reserve and bids starting at just €50, it's a wonderful opportunity for online bidders to raise money for a cause that is incredibly close to Vodianova's heart. Find out how to bid here.
Vodianova herself grew up in poverty in Russia and understood the negative effect of children being deprived of the right to play, so she set up the foundation with the goal of providing free play parks to children in poor areas. Having also grown up taking care of a sister with cerebral palsy, Vodianova insisted that the new facilities would cater for children of all abilities. Since the first park was built just five minutes from where Vodianova was raised, 200 play facilities have been built in more than 150 towns in Russia and beyond, including three in the UK.
In 2011, the award-winning foundation also launched the Every Child Deserves a Family programme, with the goal of minimising the number of children with disabilities living in children’s home or orphanages, instead keeping families together.
The Berluti items making up the lot that will raise money for this worthy cause, combine Berluti’s savoir-faire, the famous patinated Venezia leather and bright neon accents to make for a charming and playful collection. As well as the thick, soft beach towel with fluorescent embroidery, the leather-cased petanque set elevates the classic game to a new level of style and elegance. But the highlight is a luxurious weekend bag with eye-catching neon trim in yellow and hot pink.
The Berluti: The Art of Craftsmanship* sale is open for bidding from 24 April to 7 May, with lots exhibited at Sotheby’s Paris from 24–29 April.