Amanda Hearst’s great-grandfather may be legendary media mogul William Randolph Hearst, but she doesn’t rest on her lineage. The philanthropist, editor, former model, and Water Mill resident also cofounded Maison de Mode, an online retailer of ethically sourced luxury clothing, jewelry, accessories, and home goods. The company brought pop-ups to Bloomingdale’s for Earth Month and provided some of Emma Watson’s allsustainably- sourced wardrobe for the Beauty and the Beast press tour. “It’s been exciting to see celebrities make the statement that they’re going to dress sustainably because they care,” Hearst says.
For Hearst and her Maison de Mode cofounder, designer Hassan Pierre, ethical fashion involves vegan materials, sustainable textiles, fair-trade practices, and artisanal and philanthropic sourcing. The company is presenting at a trunk show in the Hamptons later in the summer with the eco-conscious label Tome, raising funds to help fight human trafficking.
Hearst’s main charitable focus is animal welfare. She’s a Humane Society of the United States board member and founded the organization Friends of Finn to combat inhumane puppy mills after discovering that her own beloved pooch was from an unethical breeder—despite having paperwork to the contrary. “Even if you ask the questions,” she says, “they just lie to you.” Hearst has even participated in five puppy-mill raids with police.
On one raid, the enraged owner of the house returned unexpectedly. It was worth the risk, but, she laughs, “I just kept thinking, Isn’t there some law where you can shoot people if they’re on your property?”
“Robert Wilson inspires so many people around him,” says Isabelle Bscher, the chic Swiss gallerist and art historian who summers in the Hamptons and is the art world’s new It girl. The artists that Wilson brings to his Watermill Center learn from him, she explains. “He gives them a new perspective, and I think it’s something that will further their careers. It’s a unique experience to stay with him.”
Bscher knows about artists, as she is the third generation to help run Galerie Gmurzynska, the gallery founded by her grandmother Antonina Gmurzynska, now with four locations in Switzerland. They represent major contemporary artists like Picasso, Miró, Christo, and Louise Nevelson, as well as Karl Lagerfeld’s photography, Sylvester Stallone’s paintings, and architects Zaha Hadid and Richard Meier, who has used the gallery’s catalogues in his collages and who once designed their booth at Art Basel Miami Beach, where Galerie Gmurzynska will be returning this December.
Bscher is a supporter of the Watermill Center Summer Benefit & Auction, and first started attending the annual summer gala as a child with her mother, Krystyna Gmurzynska, who took over the gallery after her own mother’s death in 1985. She hasn’t decided yet what she’ll wear to this year’s event, onJuly 29, but with its “Fly into the Sun” theme, she’s considering something bright. “It reminds me of the opera Victory over the Sun, since it’s similar times,” Bscher says, referring to the Russian Revolution-era avant-garde opera.
Bscher’s other charitable passion is animal welfare, and she supports the Southampton Animal Shelter, whose benefit is on July 8. “Animals can’t defend themselves, and unfortunately some people are cruel to them,” she says, adding that she has a small dog whom she loves very much. “Other animals that don’t have that lucky circumstance need help. The shelter placed over 900 dogs last year, so they’re doing great work.”
Her pooch, Lolly, goes everywhere with her. “She just suffered because I brought her all over America, so she was quite jet-lagged,” Bscher laughs.
She herself became aware of the importance of philanthropy at a young age, participating in anti-hunger marches as a schoolgirl in Cologne, Germany, where the gallery had its start. Her family makes donations to museums and institutions around the world, including the Tel Aviv Museum of Art and the Sheba Medical Center in Israel, to which they just contributed a Jean Pigozzi photograph.
She believes that millennials are becoming more involved in giving back as they enter adulthood. “Definitely, I have friends that are very charitable and they’re supporting causes. It’s not hard to see why,” Bscher says. “Everybody has something that’s very close to their hearts, like their family is touched by illness or depression, and I think people try to give back to the cause that’s close to them.” .
“The Southampton Animal Shelter is doing so many great things,” says Elizabeth Shafiroff, a junior chair of the organization’s Unconditional Love Gala, to be held July 8. “They take dogs from all over the country and Puerto Rico,” she explains. “They really go out of their way to find them a loving home.” Shafiroff is excited to put her estimable energy into this worthwhile benefit—and not just because her mother, prolific philanthropist Jean Shafiroff, will be an honoree. Elizabeth got her mom involved with the shelter in the first place. “I introduced her to the importance of helping not just people but animals,” she says.
In turn, she credits her mom with getting her excited about charitable causes as a child, when she was enlisted to help bake “thousands” of brownies for a school fundraiser.
More recently, Shafiroff cofounded Global Strays, a group providing aid to animalrescue workers in such countries as Nicaragua and Costa Rica. And as a photojournalist, she has made activism a career priority by focusing on repeat incarceration. “A lot of programs in New York are working to end this cycle of young people getting recycled back into the criminal justice system,” she says.
Encouraging other millennials’ involvement in social causes is also crucial. “Once you start thinking outside yourself,” Shafiroff says, “that emptiness that some people have inside kind of goes away. Life becomes a lot more whole and full.”