Saint Vintage Designs stands true for Stand Up to Cancer
Two-time cancer survivor, advocate and jewelry designer Paige Jansen was joined by a host of celebrities when she launched her fall 2011 collection for Saint Vintage jewelry in honor of the late producer Laura Ziskin and Ziskin's Stand Up to Cancer organization on Saturday at the Soho House in West Hollywood.
In 2007 Jansen was diagnosed with cancer of the kidney and colon. “When you have an ache or pain, don’t think you are being a hypochondriac, go to the doctor,” she said. Nine hours of surgery and eight months of chemo later -- an experience she says left her with “war wounds” -- she decided to start an enterprise that would make a difference.
“If you haven’t had chemo, and haven’t felt that poison just going into your body, I can’t even describe it," she said. "Nails on a chalkboard? That’s music to my ears compared to what I felt. I just knew that I wanted to do something to raise funds and give back in a creative way.”
She founded Saint Vintage jewelry and set up a program for cancer victims in need called Helping Hearts. “It's how I support families that are suffering not only with cancer, but also with this economic crisis. They don’t have insurance, they’ve been unemployed and they’re having to make
decisions like putting food on the table and paying their electricity bills or paying for cancer treatment for their daughter,” she said.
In short, she chooses a family, designs a Helping Hearts necklace and markets it on her website. All proceeds from the sale of that necklace for the next three months are donated to the selected family. Every three months a new family is chosen and the giving continues.
Sadly, Jansen was never able to meet Laura Ziskin but she had met Jaime King, who is one of Stand Up to Cancer's ambassadors. King had told Ziskin of Jansen's endeavors and helped arrange the launch party. Alhough Ziskin passed away in June, she had instructed her
team to let King know that she wanted to move forward with the Saint Vintage collaboration. “Laura was a mentor and a very good friend to me. I am bound and determined now more than ever to fight for what she was fighting for, so that [her death] isn’t in vain,” said a teary-eyed King. “Now more than ever we need awareness about cancer because cancer research gets blocked by so much red tape from the government and Stand Up to Cancer provides a way to get things funded rapidly so people don’t have to wait or go through unnecessary treatment,” she said. “I feel like the partnership with Saint Vintage is just great and it's one way we'll keep doing what Laura was doing and keep Stand Up to Cancer alive.”
Dressed in a beaded Chantilly lace Valentino gown from the fall 2011 collection, King accessorized her look with jewelry by Saint Vintage and Bulgari. “I like to mix it up a little” she said. She was also wearing Brian Atwood heels that she said are her favorite because they make her legs look “awesome.” But she did say she was about to champion a flat shoe movement. “I want to make flat shoes chic because heels are so bad for your body,” she said.
One hundred percent of proceeds from jewelry auctioned at the event was donated to Stand Up to Cancer. Celebrities in attendance included Emma Roberts, Nicky Hilton and Jerry Ferrara.
-- Raha Lewis
Photos, from top: Designer Paige Jansen; Jaime King with Jerry Ferrara. Credit: Colin Young-Wolff.