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Clothes Minded

Designer Nanette Lepore adds the fundraising frenzy at Our Closet’s annual fashion show and luncheon. – Marni Manko

In 2011, Jill Ashkenasy learned of a Philadelphia family whose house had burned down and were in dire need of the most basic items. Eager to do something, she reached out to her own network of family and friends to help. Donations poured in, and she soon realized she was on to something.  “This all started as a project to give back, and it immediately gained so much traction that I was that I was genuinely feeding a need in the community,” says Aschkenasy, whose husband Paul is the real estate developed behind Bryn Mawr Village. Her project turned into Our Closet – Powered by JFCS, a volunteer-driven program that distributes clothing free of charge to families in need through nine pop-up shops across the area. Next year, Aschenasy projects that they will distribute about 30,000 pieces.

A key difference between Our Closet and other similar agencies is that there’s no red tape, no eligibility requirements. Instead, shoppers get a true retail experience – one where they get to browse and try on clothing in front of a mirror with no money exchanged.

Our Closet’s annual Neiman Marcus luncheon has become a must-attend event of the social season, and this year’s luncheon November 28 is sure to delight with a personal appearance by Nanette Lepore. The famed designer is set to curate her own show and donate 10 percent of her proceeds to the charity.

“We all feel very grateful for what we have during the holidays,” say Aschkenasy. “As we buy and receive gifts from our loved ones, we can also take time to look through our own closets and see what we can donated to other that are less fortunate.” 11am-1pm Neiman Marcus, King of Prussia Mall,