Her eyewear campaigns have featured children, advanced style stars, albinos and now Karen Walker is using the advertising platform to highlight the plight of poverty-stricken African regions, working with the United Nations’ International Trade Centre’s Ethical Fashion Initiative.
The New Zealand-based designer just released her Spring 2014 campaign in which she gives a face to the Kenyan artisans who worked on her range. Karen Walker is known for her provocative, out of the ordinary visuals. The latest campaign however, called ‘Karen Walker Visible’, might be the most innovative one yet.
For the range, the designer worked with a group of Kenyan artists who created the pouches sold with each pair of sunglasses purchased. Made using local materials, machinists, tailors, metal workers and Maasai beaders, the result is an exquisitely crafted collection of embellished and screen-sprinted sunglass slips.
It’s these craftsmen and women who are cast in the campaign, shot by Derek Henderson, created a visually arresting tribute to the artists’ culture and creative talent.
The Ethical Fashion Initiative aims to promote fair and sustainable business rather than a reliance on aid in disadvantaged African and Haitian communities, bringing together craftspeople and international brands to produce products and hope to change the future with these initiatives.
Karen was thrilled to be able to work with the Ethical Fashion Initiative on this project and explained that she “wanted to expand on that by presenting not only the pouches they’re creating for us, but also something more intimate – a glimpse into the world that the work is coming from.”
“This campaign captures both this innate optimism and love of maximum impact in the images themselves and also the way in which they direct our attention to this part of the world and the work being done there. In short, the images help bring visibility to this place, these people and the work of the Ethical Fashion Initiative.”
The new collection of sunglasses includes oversized black frames with colour-tinted translucent lenses and gold trims, gold glitter and filigree styles, and reflective gold lenses.
For further information on the Ethical Fashion Initiative, visit www.ethical-fashion.org
Karen Walker Visible Eyewear