Choosing artisan means supporting a form of economic development that has deep meaning, one that originates from and is rooted in the uniqueness of people and place.

–– Forbes

By taking the time to have an honest conversation with ourselves about what we love to wear every day, we learn to appreciate the benefit of having one item instead of ten.

–– Marina Raphael, Founder

We feel honoured to work with brands that are committed to sustainable and ethical practices, and whose products are handmade and carry a real identity. Latin American designers don’t simply want to sell, they aspire to have a lasting and positive impact on their communities

–– Isabella Behrens & Cloclo Echavarría

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Michael Nelson

Michael Nelson graduated from Parsons School of Design and started his eponymous brand after consulting for emerging designers and interning at Oscar de la Renta in 2012. Inspired by a trip to the Maasai Mara, he set up several cooperatives throughout Kenya, which were the start of the Michael Nelson brand.

Each cooperative is comprised of talented artisans specializing in traditional Maasai beadwork, master horn craftsmanship, and woodcarving. Each collection is developed and designed in New York, and then sent to Kenya to be handcrafted. Michael Nelson pays per piece, on the same day of work. This simple exchange allows the artisans to build sustainable incomes and earn four times the national average. As the brand continues to grow, Michael hopes to build a central workshop in Nairobi where the artisans can come and work with full daycare facilities and a lunchroom.

Fashionkind has partnered with Michael Nelson and Selima Optique to create our Exclusive  Sunglasses.  Each pair of classic aviator frames are handcrafted in Italy and sent to Kenya, where artisan Lucy Kintalel beads each pair by hand.  

To further align with Lucy and her local community, 10% of our profits from the sale of the sunglasses go to an education fund to help send 22 Maasai children in Kenya to private school - including Lucy's daughter Lydia.