Tea Time at Japan Society

Remembering 3.11 with Kikka Hanazawa

March 2021
Part of Tea Time at Japan Society & Ten Years Later: Japan Society Remembers 3.11

As fashion industry entrepreneur Kikka Hanazawa watched the devastating 3.11 disasters on the news with colleagues in her New York office, she thought about what they could do to help. During a disaster, needs for medication, food and shelter are paramount, and donated clothing often ends up in landfill. So, for the first time outside their own professional organization, leaders in the fashion industry took action, holding a charity sale in New York City with in-kind donations from more than 60 designers, followed by events in London and Tokyo that collectively raised over $600,000 for Japan's disaster relief. "This kind of impact is much greater than what an individual can do alone," Kikka noted. Now an investor and philanthropist in fashion and technology, Kikka founded the award-winning nonprofit Fashion Girls for Humanity. During the pandemic, she and her colleagues have produced 20,000 donated PPE gowns for New York, also sharing patterns and technical information throughout the world by YouTube. "Great fashion definitely inspires people, even in a dark time. In the same way, architecture can be wonderful in post-earthquake reconstruction. There are ways to continue and celebrate the beauty of what we know, and we'll carry on and be stronger, even after this," Kikka declared.

Kikka Hanazawa
Investor and Philathropist

Kikka Hanazawa is an investor and philanthropist whose investments include the sustainable fashion brand VPL and other technology ventures in fashion. She founded the award-winning nonprofit Fashion Girls for Humanity, and has been making a social impact globally through her business and nonprofit ventures. Kikka's work has been featured in the Wall Street Journal, BBC, Forbes, The New York Times, Vogue, Reuters, Nikkei, WWD, Asahi, NHK and many other publications. She is the first Japanese woman to be selected for Forbes 48 Heroes of Philanthropy. Born in Tokyo, Kikka holds a BA from Columbia in Architecture Theory / Art History and an MBA from Harvard Business School.

Japan Society's Tea Time Season #3 features reflections on the Great East Earthquake, tsunami, and nuclear disaster that struck Japan 10 years ago on March 11, 2011. Tea Time Season #3 is proudly supported by Tokio Marine Group and ITO EN (North America) INC.


Tea Time Homepage
Japan Society’s Tea Time Season #3 is proudly supported by Tokio Marine Group and ITO EN (North America) INC.

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