Lauren Bush Lauren was born into a life of privilege, but her focus is squarely on helping those born into a life of hunger. As the granddaughter of former president George H.W. Bush and wife of the son of fashion designer Ralph Lauren, her name alone draws attention. She is founder and CEO of FEED, a social business that sells unique bags, from fashionable to utilitarian styles, that provide meals to children in need with each one sold. Bush Lauren will be the keynote speaker at the annual League Club luncheon on February 24 at The Ritz-Carlton Golf Resort, Naples. She spoke with NI about marrying her passion for fashion with feeding the world’s hungry.
NI: Where does your drive to help people in need come from?
Bush Lauren: It was always something I knew I wanted to do. In my family, the narrative was about public service and how to make the world a better place. I grew up assuming that’s what you strive to do, whether it’s your full-time job or something you do on the side in your community.
What inspired the idea for the FEED bag?
I love to travel and was always curious how differently people live around the world. To meet with families, communities, and especially children born into a life of hunger and who do not know where their next meal is coming from, that was extremely moving to me. At the same time, I loved fashion and design. I was spending summers and school breaks not only traveling with the United Nation’s World Food Programme, but also doing internships in New York at design houses. I was contemplating either a career in fashion or a career as a humanitarian aid worker. Then, I had that aha moment of: Wait! Maybe I don’t have to pick one. Maybe I can fuse them. It came naturally—why not allow people to give back in a meaningful way by wearing FEED as a badge of honor to show they are making a difference?
What are three things few people know about you?
I love to puzzle; I find it very relaxing and grounding. I’m a lifelong vegetarian. And growing up I thought I would be a professional ice skater or a Supreme Court judge. I guess I’m off the track on both!