Edeyo’s 4th Annual Fundraiser Sure to Be a Unik Experience
By Lester Brathwaite | June 22, 2011 | Indie Fashion
Unik (pronounced “Unique”) Ernest lived up to his descriptive moniker during our brief but enlightening conversation over lunch today. Brief because he had only a few hours before friends with names like Naomi Campbell, Rosario Dawson, Nigel Barker and Jamie Foxx descended on the Dream Downtown for his 40th birthday celebration. Enlightening because I learned about Unik’s charity Edeyo and their fourth annual fundraiser which also coincides with his birthday and has ever since he first started it four years ago with the purpose of helping the poor and disadvantaged children of Haiti.
Maintaining a zen-like calm amidst a flurry of phone calls, text messages and BBMs, I was lucky enough to sit down with Unik and he was lucky enough to find time to eat. Turning 40 this Sunday, Unik revealed to me that among the things he’s learned is that with getting older, there’s no need to stress. “It doesn’t help anything.”
How he maintains that calm is a wonder, however. A highly in-demand promoter, Unik has worked for brands like Nike, Diesel, La Perla, Valentino, and Microsoft, while organizing events for the Sundance and Cannes Film Festivals as well as New York Fashion Week. But the subject closest to his heart is his home country of Haiti.
Born and raised in Port-au-Prince, Unik settled in America permanently in 1990 and immediately got to work. He parlayed his love of partying into a successful career and uses his high-profile contacts to help out his native land. For his 35th birthday, instead of gifts, he asked his friends to donate to any foundation that helped the children of his country. After raising $15,000, he decided to keep the tradition growing and the following year Edeyo was born.
Tonight, Unik once again gathers his celebrity pals to raise money for the children of Haiti and bring light to their cause. Naomi Campbell and her boyfriend Vladimir Doronin donated their custom Lotus for the event’s auction, which also includes two trips to the Caribbean. But when I asked Unik what the night’s biggest surprise would be, he responded in his Unik Ernest manner: “Raising $100,000.”
Here’s hoping he gets his birthday wish.