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image0012Vital Voices Artisans’ work was featured on the runway during New York Fashion Week with the presentation of Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring 2010 Collection. A vibrant beaded necklace designed by Kenyan artisan Rebecca Lolosoli and the women of Umoja Uaso Women’s Village was prominently displayed in the New York show. Renowned designer and Vital Voices Board Member Diane von Furstenberg has been a supporter and advocate of the women artisans in the Vital Voices network, recently hosting Rebecca Lolosoli during a visit to New York from Kenya. Zoe Dean-Smith, senior director for the Global Women Artisan Export Development Program, is already responding to queries for the products following the premiere of the Spring 2010 Collection.

image003Also featured in Diane von Furstenberg’s Spring Collection were innovative bracelets fashioned from telephone wire and beaded copper wire, designed by Zulu artisans from Sizwe Umoya and the Senzokuhle Wire Company. Through their work, over 500 Zulu weavers comprising the Senzokuhle Wire company are able to earn a living wage, providing for their community and families while preserving artistic traditions. Similarly, the women of rural South Africa who form Sizwe Umoya are creating a better future for themselves and their children by producing the unique and intricate pieces of jewelry that have now found their way to the runway of New York Fashion Week.

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