ECO-CHIC: VOZ, the New York-based label founded by Jasmine Aarons, has teamed with the United Nations Trust Fund to End Violence Against Women, a division of UN Women. In a partnership launching Tuesday for International Women’s Day, Aarons will debut a traditional South American wool poncho — also known as a Manta — on VOZ’s e-commerce site, madebyvoz.com/untf. Twenty percent of proceeds from the sale of each poncho, priced at $225 and handwoven from organic cotton by Mapuche artisans, will benefit the UN Trust Fund through August.
The ethically minded VOZ, founded in 2012, aims to empower indigenous women through its collaborative design process. For each collection, Aarons, a Stanford graduate from California, works with female weavers in Peru and Southern Chile, providing them with education, fair-trade employment, financial support and authorship credit for their designs. Her fall lineup contains a mix of hand-loomed knits, many featuring Mapuche symbols, and sportswear items done in natural linen, silk, wool, cotton and baby alpaca. Aarons characterized the line as “wearable, modern, fun and elegant…for a sophisticated lady who is looking for bespoke experiences in her clothing.” Current stockists include Isetan, Tenoversix, Moda Operandi, ABC Carpet & Home, Mohawk General Store and Harvey Nichols Hong Kong, with prices ranging from $185 to $1,500.
“Because of globalization, so many artisan cultures have been wiped out by knock-offs, and they haven’t been able to continue making a living,” Aarons explained during a walk-through at her New York showroom. “The more I interviewed these artists, I realized that design innovation is the difference. It enables them to continue their craft and also to reach people who want exquisite items to wear and are looking for something meaningful, as well.”