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Whatever It Takes; a hip way to do good

Donna Karan, George Clooney and Greenday ― although they’re all big American stars, the three belong to distinctively different genres.

But it turns out the trio have something else in common ― they are among the 660 world-famous celebrities who have donated smartphone and tablet PC cover designs to raise money for people living in underprivileged countries.

Part of the proceeds from the covers ― produced by U.K.-based NGO Whatever It Takes ― is donated to charity to help in the developing world.

Vivienne Westwood, Charlize Theron and Eminem are also among those who gave their designs.

The celebrity-status of this high-profile fund-raiser’s designers may have boosted publicity for Whatever It Takes, but the consumers are the first to acknowledge that the designs stand out before their cause. 
Donna Karan’s designs for Whatever It Takes
Donna Karan’s designs for Whatever It Takes

“I thought they looked really cool even before I found out that they were created by celebrities,” said Park Ji-young, a student who recently bought a cover for her iPhone.

Decked-out in vibrant colors with messages personally penned by celebrities, industry watchers said the covers have struck a chord with shoppers, especially in Korea where trendy consumers would not be caught dead without the latest cover on their gadgets.

“The craziest and most creative designs usually fly of the shelves at the fastest pace,” noted Kim Ju-young, a salesperson for Hottracks at Kyobo Bookstore’s downtown store.

Whatever It Takes says being hip has never felt so good.

“Consumers, some of them unknowingly, of course, buy these covers and unconsciously or consciously donate to charity,” said Park Young-jun, CEO of Jun Digital, which handles all sales of Whatever It Takes’ products in Korea.

Whatever It Takes officially started selling here in January.

Asked whose work was the most popular, Park mentioned performers like Coldplay and Greenday.

At his office, Park pulled out a dozen samples of iPhone covers including those designed by these two, but the CEO was apologetic because he could not showcase the sleeve for iPads.

“We just got a batch to see if the consumers would go for it, and they just took off as soon as we started to sell them on our website,” Park said.

The sleeves took off even though they come with a hefty price tag of around $200.

Park said his firm was in negotiations with Whatever It Takes to try and get some Asian performers to join the campaign.

“I think it would be very cool if we showed Asian celebrities joining in on a good cause,” Park said.

So far, the NGO has not been eager because it was not well-acquainted with most Asian stars despite the hallyu wave, but Park said his firm hopes to change this perception.

By Kim Ji-hyun  (