While the merging of fashion and charity projects is nothing new, LSA freshman Caroline Rooney’s T-shirt line THE BEARON presents a refreshing and innovative take on the “social business,” combining conscience and style.
It all began with a basic sketch she drew in a textiles class in high school, with the word ‘love’ scrawled out and a peace sign standing in for the letter ‘V.’ The design is simple and optimistic, reminiscent of 1960s political activism. The T-shirt – which comes in cranberry, black and asphalt with white silk screen print – is currently being sold directly through Rooney and two friends who serve as brand reps, with all proceeds donated to the United Nations Children’s Fund. A new design is set to launch within the next two weeks, featuring a NYC skyline etched in silver on a purple shirt with her logo stamped on the windows as a tribute to her time spent in the city.
Rooney’s exposure to the fashion industry – trips to New York City several times a year and internships with Christian Dior and Teen Vogue – has taught her that in order to make it as a designer “you need to constantly be on your game,” she said. But Rooney’s passion for design has also been met with a serious interest in human rights. She spent two summers meeting with diplomats at the United Nations in its Youth Assembly and worked on fundraising for UNICEF at her school. That experience made her realize that every bit of spare change, when combined, has a profound effect.