A CLOSER LOOK: Designed to be a platform that inspires other fashion companies to take a more ethical and sustainable approach, the web site Fashionkind has collaborated with Selima Optique and designer Michael Nelson to create limited-edition eyewear.
The shades have been hand-beaded in Kenya by a master artisan, Lucy Kintalel, to help preserve such craftsmanship and tradition. The unisex eyewear is offered in eight colors. Founder Nina Farran will be at Selima Optique’s SoHo store in Manhattan for the Fashionkind x Michael Nelson launch party Wednesday night. At this point, 50 pairs of the $325 sunglasses with rose gold-colored aviator frames will be available. Nelson, who divides his time between Nairobi and New York, designed the frames, which Selima Optique produced. They were then shipped to Karen, a small town outside of Kenya, where Kintalel hand-beaded the designs that Nelson and Farran created.
“We stand for impact being synonymous with luxury. Impact can be from an ethical or sustainable standpoint, or both. For this, we’re not only supporting Lucy’s artisanal talent that has been passed down from generation to generation. But we firmly believe education enables, affects and really powers change,” Farran said.
Even though an act was passed in 2003, and in 2008, to ensure that all children would have access to free primary education, more than one million children do not attend school in Kenya, according to Farran. And those enrolled in school are not necessarily in an environment that is conducive to learning, as is the case in Karen, where Kintalel’s children attend a school where certain classes have a students-to-teacher ratio is 65-to-1. Through funding generated by the Selima Optique project, 22 students whose learning abilities are three grades behind will attend a private school, Farran said. One of Kintalel’s daughters will be among those students.
Farran plans to collaborate with Maiyet for its Fair Mongolian cashmere collection made from Cradle to Cradle certified ethical and environmentally sustainable cashmere yarn.