Words by Emily Shapiro
This holiday season, you can avoid the long lines, crowded malls and support a great cause all at the same time. The I Am Haiti Art Project’s cashmere scarves—which feature images painted by children from the Marantha School and Orphanage in Haiti—make an ideal gift for any socially conscious fashionista on your list, and all proceeds from purchase go towards helping to build a sustainable community for these children.
Shortly after the earthquake in 2010, documentary filmmaker Kevin O’Hanlon and Haitian-born artist Richard Laurent asked students to paint their hopes and dreams, expressing what they want their future to look like. Now, with these sweet and unique images becoming a part of high fashion, those dreams are closer to becoming a reality. When Frank and Caroline Fleischer, of New York’s Franca Art and Fashion, discovered these paintings in a gallery in Chelsea and saw them as a fund-raising opportunity. The scarves were produced by TMS fashion, which is well known for its compliance with fair trade and labor laws.
For now, the scarves can only be purchased at Franca Gallery, 526 West 26th St., in New York City, site of an I Am Haiti launch event tonight. But scan some of the designs below and check back here for information on how you can show some support for the youth of Haiti.