A Taste of Luxury for a Good Cause: Christian Siriano’s Mini-Starbucks Card

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Pictured: Have you seen this little card at your local Starbucks? It was designed by Christian Siriano of Project Runway fame.

This holiday season, I gave several friends Starbucks gift cards. I also received one. To my surprise, the one I received was designed by Project Runway’s Christian Siriano. It’s a very small card with silver embossing that fits securely on my key chain. This is a nice touch, since I can never find anything in my purse. Jimmy Hoffa could be in the purse, and it could be why he was never found! He disappeared inside a back hole of cosmetics, coins, coupons and wallets. So clearly, Christian understands a fashionista’s need for coffee in the winter and the need to find the Starbucks card that provides that coffee quickly! Tonight, I registered the card online at Starbucks’ website and learned that I can check the card balance, sign up for some free Wi-Fi time from AT&T and sign up for coupons and special offers. I love that I can manage the card from the web and reload it from my credit card when I am running low. That will save even more “purse angst” time. However, there is something even cooler about this card. Much better than its pretty winter silver embellishments, or its compact key ring fit. That best part of the card is that it helps others.

From the sales of these cards a donation on behalf of Starbucks and Christian Siriano will be made to The Art of Elysium, a non-profit organization which encourages working actors, artists and musicians to give their time and talent to children who are battling serious medical conditions. My little nephew suffers from autism, so helping children is something that is very, very important to me. I want to support the efforts of Christian and Starbucks in helping kids. Music and art can really lift children’s spirits and help them feel special.

In addition to the donations of money, Christian has been donating his time. He has granted five lucky young ladies from the Art of Elysium the gift of a lifetime – a custom Christian Siriano gown. The gowns were designed together by Christian and each of the girls and then produced by Christian to premiere at The Art of Elysium Annual Black Tie Charity Gala. The Gala for the Art of Elysium is just around the corner, this weekend in New York on Jan 10, 2010. The Gala is called “Heaven.” Actress and fashionista Kirsten Dunst will be receiving the Spirit of Elysium award in recognition of her support of The Art of Elysium. If you are interested in attending, tickets are still available. Note, the tickets are not on sale 🙂

Pictured: Kristen Dunst arrives at the 2009 Art of Elysium’s black tie gala at Vibiana in Los Angeles. (Photo by David Livingston/Getty Images)

At the Gala, the girls who worked with Christian will proudly wear their special gowns on the red carpet. Kudos to Starbucks and Christian for giving these lucky girls a very special gift–the gift of fashion and style. I’m sure they will feel like a million in their Christian couture. Christian, you’ve come a long way since you made the prom dress for the high school girl on Project Runway, season four. (Remember that episode, when Christian, er, didn’t exactly want to give the high school girl the prom dress she wanted. I loved it when the teenager was bossing him, and he could barely stand it. Nina had to give him some of her “advice.”)

Pictured: Christian Siriano with one of his couture cuties from the Art of Elysium project

About the Art of Elysium project, Christian says, “One of the things I love about fashion is that it can change the way you feel inside and out. Put on a fabulous little something and you feel like a new lady! Giving back is the same – it changes what’s going on in your life because it changes what’s going on in your heart. This year, the Card design that I created with Starbucks is all about putting the spirit of fashion and giving into your life. And maybe a frappuccino, too. I can’t get enough of those!!”

Note to my friends (and you know who you are!), keep giving me the Starbucks cards. I’m trying to fund charity here, not just feed my Cafe Misto addiction. Woman can not live by fashion alone. I need that java to help fuel my champagne wishes and caviar dreams.

Pictured: A photo of Christian with the girls from the final dress fitting that took place a couple weeks ago

I heard from Christian’s team today and they sent along the lovely pictured of Christian and the girls (above.) Christian says, “I am so thrilled to be part of the Starbucks and Art of Elysium collaboration and see the initial designs created by the girls come to life. They are going to look amazing in their dresses as they walk the red carpet – I can’t wait to see them!”


Since 2008, Mary Hall has been the author of The Recessionista Blog, which is read by thousands of regular readers in over 160 countries. An internationally recognized expert on the art of the living the good life for less, she has been a commentator on local, national, and international radio and TV shows. Her advice has been featured in over 2,000 media outlets, including The New York Times, Reuters, Life & Style magazine, ABC News, NBC News and now The Huffington Post, among many others.