Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Karen Walker Eyewear Campaign With Kenya Citizens

"This season Karen Walker is working with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative to create work in community groups of micro-artisans located in urban slums and disadvantaged rural areas of Kenya. The Ethical Fashion Initiative's motto is NOT CHARITY, JUST WORK and their task is to promote sustainable business over aid dependency. 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.

Karen Walker and the artisans of the Ethical Fashion Initiative are working together to produce pouches for the latest Karen Walker Eyewear collection. The simple, screen-printed pouches will come with every pair of Karen Walker Eyewear from this new collection. In addition, more elaborate and embellished versions, also made by Kenyan artisan groups, will be available to buy separately.

Taking the project a step further, it is the artisans themselves who are the stars of this season’s campaign. 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. For the Maasai artisans, to whom intricate beading is a tradition, connecting to the fashion world through the Initiative brings a vital source of income. Photographed by Derek Henderson, our photos allow a glimpse into the world that the work is coming from.

The campaign captures our innate optimism, our love of maximum-impact in the images themselves and also directs attention to Kenya in a positive way. The images help to bring visibility to how fashion can be a vital vehicle out of poverty."

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