The New York-based fair-trade designer has teamed with Selima Optique on a collection of handmade Italian sunglasses embellished with semiprecious stones and glass beads.
“I think collaborations are such a key component in fashion right now,” said Nelson. “I love to bridge what I’m doing and bring it into different products.”
Nelson’s namesake line of luxury accessories is made in partnership with a fair-trade beading cooperative in Kenya. The designer founded the brand following his senior thesis at Parsons The New School for Design, centered on fusing traditional African craft with modern design. After graduating in 2012, Nelson traveled to Nairobi, Kenya, where the project officially came together.
“I had this vision of helping through a fair-trade cooperative, but in a luxury setting,” said Nelson. “I went to Nairobi and founded this cooperative with two local women. What I saw from the very beginning was this need to change the pay structure. Typically, in a fair-trade capacity, they weren’t getting paid for three months after their work because they were waiting for the designers to get their wholesale orders. There was a huge lag time. What I did was develop a cash-and-carry system — they turn in their panels and get paid immediately.”
With the cooperative rapidly growing — it now employs 12 women — Nelson frequently returns to Kenya to check in on the project. It was his most recent trip, in fact, that inspired the eyewear project with Selima.
“I had a pair of sunglasses that I asked the ladies to bead, and it came out supercool,” said Nelson. “When I came back to New York, I started researching companies I’d love to collaborate with, and Selima was such an easy fit.”
The collection features aviator frames done with semiprecious stone beads (hematite, lapis lazuli and freshwater pearls) and multicolored glass beads, priced at $585 and $375, respectively. He estimates the collection will generate about $300,000 in sales in its first year.
The collection will become available on Oct. 1 in Selima Boutique locations, as well as on michaelnelson.eu.
Nelson’s main collection was recently picked up by Chicago boutique Ikram, as well as the fair-trade e-commerce siteAccompany.
Ultimately, Nelson hopes to have a retail space of his own.
“The plan is to have a home base in Nairobi,” he said. “[I want] a brick-and-mortar that’s a real nucleus for activity.”
@chanel and @pharrell dropped what’s being dubbed as the world’s most exclusive sneakers yesterday. The Adidas Originals NMD Hu, which Williams designed in collaboration with Chanel and @adidasoriginals, has a waiting list of over 120K people who pre-registered online at chanelatcolette.fr –– and only 500 pairs are on sale. The singer predicted the resale value of the shoes could reach $40K. Read the full interview on WWD.com. Link in bio. #wwdfashion (📷: Dominique Maître)
@imanshumpert is diving deeper into his creative endeavors and relaunching his clothing line, Post 90s, and is helping to raise money for the hurricane victims in St. Maarten with a jersey he’s designed with his brother. The Cleveland Cavaliers player talked to WWD about kneeling during the national anthem, working with fashion brands and how he wants to be more than an @nba player. Read the interview on WWD.com #wwdfashion (📷: George Chinese)
Not only does #TheProfit return to CNBC tonight, but @marcuslemonis has launched @shopmarcus, a new shopping and lifestyle retail experience in Aspen and Chicago, with more locations to come. The retail stores offer in-store stylists and a variety of contemporary womenswear selections.
“It’s life, I’m going to face it,” @mingxi11 sighed. “I fell, but you know, I think the most important thing is that I get back up. I had the love, the help from my sister — the girl next to me Gizele [Oliveira] — she’s so nice. When I went backstage everybody was trying to comfort me like ‘Oh Ming, it’s OK.’ I’m really, really touched. I think it’s them who gave me the courage to go back on stage for the finale,” Xi told WWD of her fall at the @victoriassecret fashion show. (📷: David Fisher) #wwdfashion #vsfashionshow #victoriassecret
@louisvuitton tapped @therealpeterlindbergh for its latest city-centric photo book, which is part of a series called Fashion Eye. The primarily black and white book captures the spirit of Berlin in 57 images shot between 1989 and 2019. “Berlin is an inspiration for me, more than a city. I mean @millajovovich is simply Berlin!” said Lindbergh. #wwdfashion
“You know, I think audiences expect a certain performance so I have to deliver to them what they’re expecting to a certain degree. But I’m also a different actor and a different person, I have my own spin on the character,” says @noahegalvin of his takeover of the leading role in “Dear Evan Hansen” following the departure of @bensplatt, who originated the role. Read WWD’s interview with the 23-year-old actor on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @jilliansollazzo)
For pre-fall 2018, @etro created richly-colored wonderland, using tapestries, textiles and wallpapers from the Eastern world at large. The line featured floral and graphic prints and jacquard motifs, like this two-piece look featured here. #wwdfashion (📷: Giovanna Pavesi)
@kith is moving into children’s. The men’s and women’s streetwear brand has launched Kidset, a Kith kids line located in New York at 64 Bleecker Street. The line includes mini versions of staple Kith pieces like the Astor bomber jacket and the Kith box logo sweatshirts, along with a wall that can display up to 120 pairs of shoes from @adidas, @newbalance, @timberland and more. #wwdfashion
“I just wanted to create this fully rounded character, but I do think what excited me most was just the opportunity to give a group of people representation that I feel needs it. I like to do characters in projects that stand for something and Karolina definitely does, so that was really exciting to me,” @ginnygardner says of her new role in @hulu’s “The Runaways.” Gardner plays Karolina Dean, a queer superhero, which is a rarity for @marvel. Read more about Gardner’s character on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: @dandoperalski)