Mar 16, 2012
Fab Friday with Promise Project
Simplifying Fabulous! with Dana BuchmanABOUT: Since leaving the designer world, Dana has dedicated her life to a helping underserved LD children. Dana wrote A Special Education, a book about her experience as a parent of an LD child. Recognizing that her family was lucky to have the wherewithal to advocate for Charlotte, Dana founded PROMISE PROJECT to make sure that all families have the same opportunity. Dana's passion for PROMISE PROJECT's mission bore fruit this July with the launch of PROMISE Program at Columbia. PROMISE Program seeks to give children with LD access to a quality education, and to research effective interventions for learning disabilities so that one day all parents may watch their children thrive. Robin Baron: Tell me about what you have been up to since leaving the fashion industry? Dana Buchman: I founded and chair PROMISE PROJECT, a non-profit that changes the lives of impoverished children with learning disabilities. We created a breakthrough program with Columbia University and New York-Presbyterian, Morgan Stanley Children’s Hospital and are looking to build it into the imminent center for learning disabilities—treatment and research-- in the country. RB: What was your motivation to start a non-profit? DB: My daughter, Charlotte, struggled with learning disabilities and I have seen how important it is that they be treated early. So many cases are undiagnosed--sometimes the children are seen as stupid or lazy. They are intelligent, but they just learn differently. The prisons are filled with people who grew up unable to succeed in the real world because of untreated LD.
RB: What are some ways people can help support your organization? DB: Visit promise-project.org. We need to raise the awareness of learning disabilities and most importantly raise funds to support this critical work. RB: How would you describe your home décor? DB: My home décor was adapted from my fashion aesthetic: clean lines, right proportions, few accessories, good quality, "underdesigned", simple yet strong.RB: What do you love most about your home and why? DB: I feel peace whenever I step into the loft. It is filled with light from windows all across the front and feels like an oasis to me. Even though I can feel the presence of New York outside, the noises are muffled through the therma-pane windows. The back of the loft faces the buildings on the next street so it is eerily quiet. Just a soft hum of the city at night. RB: What is the one thing in your home everyone comments on? DB: I have a huge color field painting by an artist named Zakanich hanging over a long Chinese cabinet. Everyone thinks it’s a flat screen TV. Really it is the opposite—very quiet and subtle.