Nicole Miller’s Newest Designs are More than Just Bracelets
Fashion designer Nicole Miller teamed up with Indego Africa to host a fabulous private event (October 28) in her Soho store promoting a new line of accessories geared towards empowering women in Rwanda. The event was buzzing with designers and fashionistas alike, all anticipating the unveiling of these beautifully crafted bracelets designed by Nicole Miller.
“I like to do things that empower women,” says Miller.
And how! Each bracelet is hand-made by women from various villages in Rwanda. Miller’s designs gave room for artistic individuality, tweaking traditional Rwandan designs, selecting the color combinations, and leaving room for uniqueness in the crafting of each piece for the individual artists. The added personal touch: each hand crafted bracelet is personally signed by the Rwandan artist, whose picture and tribe is attached on a card.
Indego Africa, the partner in this endeavor, is a United States based Non-Profit organization that was founded in early 2007 with the aim to empower women in Rwanda through social enterprise and fair trade partnerships. By partnering with designer Nicole Miller, these Rwandan artists are able to make and distribute artistically unique, hand crafted designs and connect Rwandan art with American fashionistas.
“People in the United States get to know the people in other countries and feel more connected,” says Matt Mitro, Founder, President, and Board Chair of Indego Africa. His organization’s goal, he says, is rooted in empowerment.
All of the women who hand craft these Nicole Miller designed bracelets are survivors of the 1994 genocide in Rwanda. Most of these women are the sole income providers of households with an average of 5 dependents. That makes Indego Africa a business partner with Rwandan women in a venture that, through collaboration with designers like Nicole Miller, has provided an avenue for a seven fold increase in income, on average, for these Rwandan artists.
At the start of Indego Africa, “over 90% of these women were making less than 50 cents a day,” says Mitro.
Now, in addition to much a much-needed increase in income, these Rwandan women are furthered empowered through Indego Africa programs in business management, IT, and literacy. That’s right! It’s more than a fabulous bracelet! It is also a uniquely crafted fashionable symbol of social entrepreneurship and women’s empowerment.
Want to participate in this partnership and obtain some fabulously designed, hand crafted items? Check out www.indegoafrica.org to shop, read up on Indigo Africa, and even a
take chance to donate.
By Melanie Meadows
Images from evening