The latest designer to partner with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative is New Zealand eyewear designer Karen Walker. The new collection called Karen Walker Visible brings work to community groups of micro-artisans located in urban slums and disadvantaged rural areas of Kenya.
The partnership brings Walker and artisans of the Ethical Fashion Initiative together, producing screen-printed pouches that will come with each pair of frames from the new collection. In addition, more elaborate and embellished versions, also made by Kenyan artisan groups will be available to buy separately.
“We were thrilled to be able to work with the Ethical Fashion Initiative on this project and wanted to expand on that by presenting not only the pouches they’re creating for us, but also something more intimate – a glimpse into the world that the work is coming from,” says Walker.
“This campaign captures both this innate optimism and love of maximum impact in the images themselves and also the way in which they direct our attention to this part of the world and the work being done there. In short, the images help to bring visibility to this place, these people and the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.”
Walker has also employed the artisans themselves to star in the latest campaign. Shot by Derek Henderson and under the creative direction of Mikhail Gherman, Walker’s husband, the campaign includes: machinists, cutters, tailors, production managers and metal workers who have acquired or refined craft and management skills through the Ethical Fashion Initiative, while providing a glimpse into the world that the work comes from.
The Karen Walker Visible collection will be available in all Karen Walker stores and worldwide this February 2014. www.karenwalker.com