For a child orphaned by HIV/AIDS and living in abject poverty, the covetable It bag is as far removed from reality as resolved story arcs are on Lost. (We’re being passive-aggressive about the finale, can you tell?) So it only stands to reason that a measure of cognitive dissonance bubbles to the surface when you mention Gucci and UNICEF in the same breath. The result of that unlikely alliance is the limited-edition “Sukey” bag, which benefits UNICEF’s Schools for Africa program. Just one catch: It costs $1,320.

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Gucci, Sukey, UNICEF, eco-fashion, sustainable fashion, green fashion, sustainable style, social responsibility

BAG, YOU’RE IT

The luxury fashion house and the child-advocacy agency go back a bit—coming up six years, in fact. The gray “La Pelle Guccissima” leather Sukey, designed by Gucci’s Frida Giannini, is the third iteration of the Gucci for UNICEF collection, with a yearlong run that expires on February 28, 2011.

25 percent of the bag’s sales benefit UNICEF’s Schools for Africa initiative in Malaw and Mozambique.

Largesse-wise, Gucci has earmarked 25 percent of the bag’s sales for UNICEF’s school-building and educational initiative in Malawi and Mozambique, where nearly 1 million children have been orphaned by HIV/AIDS.

A quarter of the proceeds is more than lip service, for which Gucci must be commended. (For some, it might even be enough to assuage any nagging First World guilt.) But the disconnect is so palpable that the math doesn’t quite add up—not unlike a certain dearly departed TV show.

So tell us, what’s your take on cause-related marketing in luxury retail? Contrived or good Dharma…we mean karma?

+ Sukey for UNICEF $1,320

+ Gucci