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.”
“What he has done at Vuitton is really exceptional,” said @gameofthrones’ actress Gwendoline Christie on @mrkimjones’ final show for @louisvuitton. “He has rebooted luxury in terms of making it commercial, viable and contemporary. And most importantly artistic. He has never compromised his artistic vision for the sake of commodity.” (📷: @zefashioninsider)
After seeing a demand for men’s wear from its customers, British contemporary women’s wear label @ariesarise has added a men’s wear component and will launch a unisex collection with @mrporterlive. The 20-piece collection includes jackets, denim, logo T-shirts and more with deconstructed ‘90s vibes. Set to launch on January 18, you can shop the pieces on Aries’ website and on mrporter.com. #wwdfashion
“And so spending so much time with a character who thinks like that, inevitability you try and analyze yourself and go back and think about your own demons and dark chapters that you had in your life,” says @thedanielbruhl of his role in TNT’s “The Alienist.” The show, set in the Gilded Age of New York, also stars Dakota Fanning and Luke Evans. Head to WWD.com to read about how 39-year-old Brühl prepared for the role and why he thinks the show is so relevant to today #wwdeye ( 📷: @Eriktanner)
Now that Celine Dion’s collection has topped $10 million in sales, the pop superstar, fashion icon and newly-minted industry player is eyeing growth in Asia. Read the full report by @tiffanyap, link in bio. #wwdnews #celinedion
“My personal philosophy to beauty is paying attention to oneself. I love to be outdoors, lots of fresh air, trying to take care of yourself as best you can. I always notice that comes through,” says Felicity Jones, the global face of @shiseido-owned @cledepeaubeauteus, which launches today. Head to WWD.com to read more about the actress’ love for beauty and how she prepared for her new role in “The Basis of Sex,” playing the young Ruth Bader Ginsburg. #wwdbeauty (📷: @dandoperalski)
Among the familiar faces at @off____white’s show was a surprise figure: Japanese artist @takashipom, pictured here on Wednesday morning. Other show-goers included @jerrylorenzo, who spoke about his upcoming project: a @nike collaboration for back to school, with designs inspired by his childhood on the West Coast. Sitting in the front row were Future, Don Crawley, @miguel and more. See the rest of the photos on WWD.com #wwdeye (📷: Stephane Feugere)
According to @laurentsai, former “Terrace House: Aloha State” cast member, she didn’t know she was auditioning for the Japanese version of “Real World.” “I was telling a couple of my friends and someone’s like, ‘That sounds a lot like Terrace House.’ I was like, ’No it can’t be.’” Turns out, it was. But Tsai isn’t just a reality star — she’s an illustrator who has worked with Starbucks Japan and most recently, she’s dipping her toes into the fashion world. Head to WWD.com to read about her time on the show, modeling and her art. #wwdeye (📷: @danieldorsa)
More changes are coming to New York Fashion Week: Beginning with the spring 2019 collection, @alexanderwangny will move his New York show to June from September, adopting a biannual schedule with collections shown in June and December. Additionally, the @cfda is planning for an official summer/winter fashion season taking place as soon as June and December 2018. Read more about the upcoming changes on WWD.com. #wwdnews #wwdfashion (📷: @slovekinpics)