artisans

Spotlight: Soko

I must admit that I’m currently gushing over Soko.  It’s a little bit like love at first sight.  For me, the allure of this company lies right in its founding story, that Soko was “created by women for women to help ‘fashion a better world.'”  Founded in 2012 by three incredibly inspirational women, Soko’s site sells some pretty divine jewelry.  This jewelry is created by about two dozen independent men and women living within the developing world.  Through their partnership with Soko, these artisans have the ability to establish and manage their own businesses and create jewelry that is sold worldwide, connecting them to the global economic system.

Soko sells an array of gorgeous metal, wooden, and beaded jewelry, ranging from necklaces, to bracelets, to earrings, and rings.  I’m currently loving their turquoise beaded bib and brass chevron choker (both pictured above).  The detailing on both pieces is absolutely beautiful.  And because they are different lengths, these two necklaces are perfect for layering together! (I’m also a huuuuuuuge fan of both turquoise and brass, so I love them even more when they’re together!)  The beaded bib was created by Veronicah, a woman living in Kibera, a slum just outside of Nairobi.  In every piece she creates, Veronicah uses natural materials that are environmentally sustainable.  Ojiko designed and created the chevron choker.  He specializes in woodwork and metalwork (as you can see in this delicate and chic necklace).  The money that we spend purchasing these items goes directly back to Veronicah and Ojiko because Soko cuts out the middleman.  How efficient is that!?

Needless to say, I might just be Soko’s #1 fan.  Not only is the jewelry extraordinary, but the personalized relationships that the company has with its affiliated artisans is inspirational and uplifting!

– Kasey

Inspiration: Indonesia Part I

This summer I had the opportunity to conduct research in Indonesia for one month.  I traveled around Yogyakarta, Bunaken, Manado, Bali, and Lombok, experiencing a broad array of cultural tradition, religion, food, and art.  My research was based around fashion and identity formation, so I was lucky enough to get up close and personal with the intricate designs of Indonesian batik – and I even got to do it myself!

Batik is a form of fabric design in which wax is applied to cloth and then dyed various times.  The fabric remains its natural color where the wax was applied because the dye is unable to penetrate through it.  Wax can be applied to the fabric multiple times, creating detailed and ornate designs.  The artisans who design batik garments spend months creating them.  (I bought a batik tapestry that took 2 months to make!)  The labor that goes into creating these works of art is truly awe-inspiring.

After returning to the states, I began searching for garments that had batik motifs.  Sure enough, I found my pot of gold at Free People.  I have been Free People obsessed for the past 7 years, and season after season, it never lets me down.  So I was particularly excited to find a little slice of Indonesia carried in my favorite store.  These festive scrunchies are perfect for throwing your hair up on a lazy Sunday morning, or keeping your hair out of your face during a hot yoga class.  And I’m mildly obsessed with this white patterned kaftan.  I love the ease and effortlessness of it.  Throw it on, add some brass bangles and beaded sandals, and you’re set for the day!

 

A huge piece of my heart still remains in Indonesia, but I know I’ll be traveling back there soon!

Above: Hyperion Bodycon Dress

Batik Scrunchie Trio

Orea Kaftan