Above: Beatrice (Craftsperson) wears Orbit Filigree in Black. Velma (Assistant) wears One Worship in Lavender with Gold. Below: Winnifred (Supervisor) wears Joyous in Gold Glitter. Florence (Artist) wears Super Worship in Black with Gold.
These awesome images from the KAREN WALKER VISIBLE campaign, as shot by Derek Henderson, aim to highlight, celebrate and acknowledge and indeed they do, particularly for the fact that they have introduced us to the artisans that produced the screen-printed pouches that come with every pair of the new collection. This face to face enables a way more personal relationship with the real people behind our fashion decisions…something that might go a long way in encouraging more fair trade purchases in the future? In working in collaboration with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative who promote sustainable business over aid dependency with their motto of NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK and following in the footsteps of other fashion greats including Vivienne Westwood and Sass & Bide, Karen Walker looks to create change and awareness through fashion, something that all designers should think about doing…don’t you think? Working in community groups of micro-artisans located in urban slums and disadvantaged rural areas of Kenya, the Initiative enables marginalized artisans to increase their skills, to enter the international fashion chain in a fair way and to produce directly for brands that distribute products worldwide. The people photographed here include machinists, cutters, tailors, production managers and metal workers who have acquired or refined craft and management skills through the Ethical Fashion Initiative. It was the extraordinary image of Rason as seen below that first caught my eye, as my near obsession with all things marvelously Masai first made the connection with this clever campaign. In addition to the screen printed pouches, more elaborate and embellished versions made by members of the Masai will be available to buy separately. Now, that’s what I’m talking about. Super sunnies too. Great collaborations like this definitely influence my spend, how about you? X
Above: Rason (Maasai Beader) wears Orbit Filigree in Gold Glitter. Kapokka (Maasai Beader) wears Enlightened in Black with Gold. Below: Alex (Artist) wears Enlightened in Black with Gold. Anton (Metal Caster) wears Utopia in CrazyTort. Further Below: Collins (Metal Caster) wears Deep Worship in Black with Gold. Rose (Craftsperson) wears Faithful in Turquoise.