With the fashion year "starting", like the school year, lately, things have been a little hectic. Returning home, taking care of business amidst changing up the office, boxes and moving crates everywhere, putting the last touches on the the Bonbon Spring '10 Collection, loading Fall '09 (still), and then I think of these small independently run companies, absolute labors of love, and remind myself that much more than I think is possible. I can do better than this. I am lucky to have shown with these designers. They really are inspirations.
Sylvia Toth, designer of Warmi. Each season she takes my breath away. While she lives and works in Paris, each piece emphasizes the skill of the women crafting her work in her home country of Colombia. Her designs are sophisticated and feminine pieces, each piece numbered and signed by its creator. What I love about Sylvia's work and philosophy is it's humility: each piece reflects her love of the good work of the artisans who realize her designs and the creative spirit of both her country Colombia and her adoptive city of Paris. It's powerful and gorgeous stuff. (The top three are new for Fall). Read here about the women who weave and knit her designs.
Carolina Restrepo is originally from Colombia and lives in Lima where she designs these gorgeous bags bursting with rich color and layer upon layer of detail. Her designs mix her love of the traditional handiwork of Peru's indigenous artisans with her own modern inspirations and boundless imagination and energy. She works closely with the knitters, crocheters, weavers and sewers that come together to create one bag. She is also irreverent and full of absolute pure love, one of my favorite combinations. Read here to see how Comparte Corazon is doing.
Designed by Aurelyen, French but has carved out his life in Peru. Working directly with his sewers, paying a fare wage equally to both the men and women who work with him, each piece is handmade and even the raw materials are sourced in-country, giving steady work to Peruvian companies. Read here to see the depth of his commitment and dedication to the country of Peru...it's awe-inspiring. And the clothes are beautiful, utilitarian and artful.