“I designed this collection on my first trip to Kenya, inspired by the rich culture of the Maasai people, and their layers of intricately beaded accessories and shuka fabrics. While there, I learned the art of beading and the unity in this practice from the Maasai people. The designs I developed with them were minimal and focused on highlighting the beauty of the bead work itself. The process of hand sewing the beads onto leather, or individually stringing them together takes about 1-2 days for the women to make depending on the intricacy of the design. The end result was a Maasai-meets-seventies choker collection.” -Celia Lee Roach; needle+thræd founder and fashion editor
needle+thræd partners with the Bebe Ravi women’s cooperative that employs 50-100 women based in Nakuru, Kenya – an area with unemployment rates as high as 40%. many of the women have been widowed by the AIDS epidemic, thus becoming the sole source of income for their families. by giving them access to revenue, not only are the lives of their children significantly improved, but the entire community is propelled forward. each woman is paid above average wage and provided with free meals. Meet the makers here
Scroll below for a closer look at the beautiful intricately designed needle+thræd choker collection.
The needle+thræd choker collection is available at Spring and coming soon to Donna Karan’s Urban Zen store in Sag Harbor, kicking off with an in-store event Memorial Weekend, that will potentially focus on supporting made in Africa designs.
Our mission is to find that common thread between style and substance and sustain families, communities and traditional crafts by providing fair wages. -needle+thræd