She walked in wearing a cropped jean jacket and a large white purse with the aura of a self-assured woman. Sunglasses rested on her head and summer sandals on her feet. Aaja Corinne Carr, 21, is more than just a stylish woman. She uses fashion to champion causes.
Carr is a stylist, model coach, and COO of Beau Ideal, a fashion event production company residing in Chicago, which in the process of becoming a non-profit. Beau Ideal is currently working on fashion events to help causes that Carr cares about. Carr is always passionate, but as she discusses her philanthropic endeavors, she sits tall and she begins to talk more with her hands and the room becomes filled with excitement and enthusiasm.
“Beau Ideal does a lot of events,” said Carr. “We say that ‘philanthropy is our passion and fashion is our platform.’ Our mission is to rally people for relevant causes such as cancer, youth development, and catastrophe.”
There have been many events lately in support of their new initiative I Am Pink and Blue Revolution. An event called Blue Thursday occurred March 22 with the proceeds to benefit Susan G. Komen Chicago Affiliate and The Chicago Prostate Cancer Center. The culminating event for the I Am Pink and Blue Revolution is on June 9. The event will have models walking the Magnificent Mile, each pledging to raise $100 for each cause and they will present the checks at the end of the walk.
“Some cancers survivors are donating their shoes,” said Carr. “Some models might walk a mile in their shoes.”
Ken Berry, Founder, President and CEO of Beau Ideal, works with Aaja because of her professionalism and leadership abilities. When Carr talks it’s easy to see their tight bond, just as it is when talking with Berry.
“There is only one choice to me when it comes to whom I entrust with the company I both envisioned and birthed,” said Berry, 42. “Aaja has the integrity, the foresight, the ethics, the teachable spirit and the savvy needed to help me lead Beau Ideal to be a leader in both the fashion and philanthropic industries. Even though I am CEO, I answer to Aaja.”
Beyond Beau Ideal, Carr has her own styling brand, where she works with both men and women to help them become more fashionable.
“I have my own styling brand called Aaja Corinne THE BRAND,” said Carr. “That is where I do all my fashion styling and personal shopping.”
Carr has many different designers and brands that she loves, but there are three that are her staple.
“I love Ralph Lauren,” said Carr. “It’s so timeless, yet it’s always modern and very up-to-date. I love Tommy Hilfiger. I really like his ad campaigns. I like Roberto Cavalli because he is very edgy.”
She said that she uses an inspiration board to create looks and she explained that she had magazine subscriptions to Lucky, Vogue, and Teen Vogue. The tagline for Carr’s brand is “I style for your lifestyle,” she said.
Jasmine Finley, a client of Carr’s, had nothing but great things to say about her.
“Aaja is a fashion visionary,” said Finley, 31, who works as an administrator. “Her range and creativity in style is extraordinary and perfect for all personality types and arenas. Her professional, courteous, joyous and energetic personality is contagious.”
Before getting hired at Beau Ideal, Carr interned for Tameka Martell-Price, a wardrobe coach and personal shopper who founded A-line Chicago.
“Aaja is an amazing talent and has a great spirit,” said Martell-Price, 28. “She interned for me in 2011 and I have hired her for different projects with my styling company.”
The CEO of Beau Ideal said that Beau Ideal could not achieve what it has without Carr.
“She sets the tone for our company and embodies the sophistication, class and focus of the Beau Ideal brand,” said Berry.