Rachel Roy has an eye for fashion and place in her heart for Haiti’s women as well. The fashion designer is working with Haitian President Michel Martelly to protect women in the earthquake torn country.
Roy was in Haiti last week along with mogul homemaker Martha Stewart, to visit Haiti in anticipation for an upcoming collaboration with the country’s artisans. Both women were invited to visit the island with Macy’s Chairman and CEO Terry Lundgren who took them to meet Haitians who have been making and selling in 25 of his stores in the United States since October. Both Roy and Stewart have lines available at Macy’s.
The roots of the project were inspired by President Bill Clinton’s Foundation, which has been seeking ways to help Haiti get on its feet through private sector investment.
ABC News reports:
Macy’s, Fairwinds Trading and the BrandAid Foundation developed a plan for Macy’s to commission Haitian handicrafts, which the retailer began selling in its stores and online in time for last year’s Christmas season. On macys.com, prices for the Haitian items range from a vase that costs $54 to a large bowl that sells for $120. Paintings of Haiti’s marketplaces are also on sale at $109.
“We sold out and sold well,” Lundgren told journalists as he paused among tables topped with salad bowls, jewelry, patchwork quilts and chairs made of recycled metal.
The group visited women in Port-au-Prince’s crowded refugee tent cities. Many of the women in the tents have fallen victim to sexual abuse and violence living in the tents. According to an insider, meeting the women touched Roy so much that she is planning a return trip “to meet with Martelly again and take him up on the offer of being a voice for those women.”
It’s not the first time Roy has given her help to Haiti. The designer was part of the CFDA’s “To Haiti With Love” campaign that raised money for the country after it was shaken by the January 2010 earthquake.