Circle of Fashion Holiday Market at Azul. Photo Credit: Rachele Viard
Circle of Fashion Holiday Market at Azul. Photo Credit: Rachele Viard

By Rachele Viard

Azul, a fusion restaurant and lounge in Petionville, Haiti, was transformed into a holiday shopping ground this past weekend, featuring several artists and their items. Organized by ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative and USAID “Circle of Fashion,” the holiday market which ran on Dec. 11 and Dec. 12, featured items created exclusively for the event by designers such as Pascale Theard, Paula Coles, Simbi, DOT, as well as Osklen E- Ayiti.

There were a variety of items available including, handbags, sandals and bracelets, with intricate details that displayed the unique craftsmanship of Haitian products. The setting enabled patrons to sit and take in the moment while enjoying wine, and chatting with friends as they continued their spree.

Theard shared that her new collection “Kosmic” was inspired by the work of two artisans whom she admires and felt that the Pop-up shop was a great occasion to launch pieces of the collection.

“Events like this remind us of the tremendous talent that some of our designers possess,” Kristine Belizaire, one of the patrons said. “I am taking full advantage of this pop-up shop.”

The event generated a buzz with many coming out to support the event.  Though the rain on Saturday night might have hindered some from coming out, it was certainly an exciting and unique way to continue with Christmas shopping.

Funded by USAID, Ethical Fashion Initiative works with Haitian craftspeople to produce jewelry and accessories in order to connect artisans with the global fashion industry. The organization provides technical expertise and assistance in managing production and quality control as well as facilitating capacity building workshops.

Born into a Haitian family in Stone Mountain GA. , Rachele visited Haiti several times in her youth and connected to the country and the culture. She moved to Haiti in 2009, where she put her English degree to use as a writer, using her voice and pen to promote tourism in the country and highlight the richness of the Haitian culture and people.

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