Friday, December 11, 2009

Kismot: Combating Poverty and Conflict through Fashion

December 10th marked the launch date of artist collective and social enterprise Kismot. Kismot Developing World Artist Collective is committed to community development through art and music. Kismot clothing and accessories are designed by internationally acclaimed artists from the developing world. 100% of profits from every Kismot item purchased directly support projects throughout the world that use art and music to empower disadvantaged communities.
"While these projects can offer much needed healing and hope in urban slums and refugee camps,” says founder Raj Chowdhury, “the cost of financing art based workshops and cultural centers can be prohibitive.”

Kismot’s latest collaboration is with artists all over the world including Bangladesh, Colombia, and Brazil to produce a line of clothing and accessories. The initial line consists of four artist-designed fitted T-shirts. Each T-shirt features images inspired by the artist's culture, including folklore, calligraphy, and native dance with 100% of profits from every purchased item to finance projects throughout the world that use art and music to empower disadvantaged communities.

T-Shirts cost $25 and can be purchased online at

Wednesday, December 9, 2009

CALAMARIe: Colombian artistry at its best

On Sunday December 6th, CALAMARIe officially launched its first collection of hand made jewelry and handbags to the awaiting DC public. The collection offered beautiful hand crafted clutches and accessories designed using traditional production techniques from Colombia.

Cataline Lematire, founder of CALAMARIe, put the wheels in motion on her passion to work with artisans and designers form her home country in the summer of 2009. Only a few short months later, Catalina's first collection debuted with great reviews and numerous orders at its Holiday Mercado.

CALAMARIe's goal is to develop long-term, relationships with designers and artisans, promote fair trade and social responsibility and help build their capacity and support their growth. All the products are hand crafted using natural and local materials and often recycle or reuse them in innovative ways.

If you missed the Mercado, don't fret. CALAMARIe will be holding a holiday trunk show at Local 16 (202 265-2828) on December 10th from 6pm. Not only will you get the chance to own a wonderful piece of Colombian artistry but you will also be donating to charity (a percentage of proceeds from the sales will be donated to Miram's Kitchen in DC).

Photo by Leslie Esterrich