Calling the new range of sunglasses KarenWalker Visible, the aim of the campaign is to highlight, celebrate and acknowledge. The brand worked with 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 worked together to produce pouches for the latest Karen Walker Eyewear collection. The simple, screen-printed pouches will come with every pair of Karen Walker glasses or sunglasses from the new collection and there will be more elaborate and embellished versions, also made by Kenyan artisan groups, available to buy separately.
The artisans are also the stars of the campaign and 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, the campaign captures the brands innate optimism, directs attention to Kenya in a positive way and helps to bring visibility as to how fashion can be a vital vehicle out of poverty.
The Karen Walker Visible collection will be available around February 10th and I have to have those orange sunnies in my life!