For designer Karen Walker, when it came to working with the United Nations’ ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative, she didn’t just use the talents of local Kenyan artisans, she used their faces, too.
For her summer 2014 collection, Walker tied up with the EFI in a bid to “make a difference”. The initiative, whose motto is “Not Charity, Just Work”, aims to promote sustainable business over aid dependency and, as such, Walker tasked some of Kenya’s finest micro-producers, designers and artisans with designing and producing an array of pouches to be sold with every pair from her latest eyewear range. In addition, more elaborate, embellished designs will be sold separately.
But Walker took it a step further and asked some of the artisans involved to star in the campaign. Those photographed include machinists, cutters, tailors, production managers and metal workers as well as members of the Maasai group who create the more elaborate beading work seen on the pouches.
Artisans that worked on the pouches for Karen Walker’s latest campaign. Photos: Derek Henderson
“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.”
One of the pouches that will be sold with Walker’s summer 2014 collection
Re-published from http://fashion.telegraph.co.uk