Jan 29, 2014 9:15AM

Exclusive: Karen Walker's 'Visible' Campaign

A collaboration with the UN Ethical Fashion Initiative.

This season Karen Walker has partnered with the United Nations' Ethical Fashion Initiative, whose motto, "Not Charity, Just Work" says it all. The organisation is about creating and supporting the work of artisan community groups in both remote and urban Kenya. The NZ designer's new 'Visible' collection campaign aims to not only collaborate with craftspeople through the creating and selling of handmade eyewear pouches, but to literally make visible the people behind the designs, through the portrait photography of Derek Henderson. 

As Simone Cipriani from the EFI said about the project, "The relationship between the Ethical Fashion Initiative and Karen Walker was a very natural connection. Karen is a visionary and she clearly understood who we are and the potential of working in Africa with us. Everything about this project — which brings forward the positivity, dynamism and beauty of Africa — is in line with what we do."

When we asked Karen Walker more about what drew her to the project which began when she and Simone were invited to speak at a Sydney conference, she said, "this has given us an opportunity to make a difference in Kenya. We're delighted that this season’s eyewear will be making a real and meaningful impact upon the people of this community. We hope that the campaign images will help to bring visibility to this place, these people and the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative. It's important to me because it's an opportunity to make a real, immediate and measurable difference." See the people behind the products in the gallery above.


Photos: Derek Henderson