Haitian Fashionspiration: Truly Unique Designers Involved in Both Design and Ethics


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Although Haiti is not widely considered to be a worldwide fashion hub, the country is home to several innovative, stylish individuals who have launched unique fashion lines.  Many Haitian designers derive inspiration from their cultures and represent them through their outfits.  Some even reach out to the suffering victims of their homelands with their extraordinary fashions.  In honor and celebration of Haiti’s upcoming, inaugural Fashion Week this November, we here at Dresses for Haiti are spotlighting some of our favorite, amazing Haitian fashion designers!

From Brooklyn, New York, Nit Ra Sit creates urban-chic yet exotic special-order clothing for women.  She collaborates with other floor designers to sew custom-made couture garments for her clients.  In addition to being the entrepreneur of Nit Ra Sit Originals, she does outreach and charity work for Haiti Earthquake victims of 2010 through her fashion line.

Tribal prints are prominent throughout her contemporary, fashion-forward pieces.  Her signature garments feature unique color schemes with contrasting embellishments.  I have posted my personal favorite in her collection: a flowy, floor-length gown in which she combines African wax print fabric with asymmetrical ruffles, peacock-feather color palettes, and glittering, stoned shoulder straps.

Nit Ra Sit (on left):

The dress:

Hassan Pierre, a graduate from Parsons the New School for Design, strives to incorporate sustainability in his modern, art-inspired clothing line, Way It Should Be.  All of his beautifully garments are constructed with organic, eco-friendly fabrics, natural dyes, and recycled zippers.  Even the hang tags are comprised of soy ink and seeded paper.  You could plant them in your backyard; they would make a nice addition to your garden.

His mother may have inspired some of his passion for fashion.  As told to Boca News in 2007:

“My mother used to take me to the Paris shows from Haiti. She is what I like to call a fashion junkie.”

In addition to debuting in national fashion shows, Pierre has been featured in both Vogue and Marie Claire. He has also launched a second line, VIP Couture.  Several celebrities, including the Olsen twins and Nicole Richie, adore VIP Couture and frequently shop there.

Saving the environment is not the only cause Pierre is passionate about; he is also very involved in outreach to Haiti.  His company is based in Port Au Prince, Haiti, where it will remain stationed while the city recovers from the recent earthquake.  He continues to help the suffering victims with his eco-friendly, sustainable clothing.

Hassan Pierre:

One of Pierre’s dresses featured in Vogue Magazine’s Style Ethics Section:

Miami-native Ben Almonor designs bold, glamorous outfits for women.  Almonor does not have a specific favorite fashion style; rather, he derives inspiration from the art and nature he observes.  However, he does try to incorporate his Haitian heritage in many of his creations.  Perhaps his childhood in Miami, Florida, one of the most prominent Haitian cultural hubs in the USA, has sparked his inspiration for Haitian culture and ideals in his fashion line.

Almonor is not a fan of jewelry and baubles; he states that “most of my signature pieces are already heavily accessorized.”   He specializes in tailoring elaborate garments perfectly to the female figure, and Lycra is his favorite fabric for doing so.  Versace is one of his all-time favorite designers; he says “Versace is so full of bold colors and style.”  I definitely see the Versace ideals of boldness and upscale flashiness in Almonor’s clothing, especially his glamorous cocktail dresses.

Ben Almonor:

One of his stunning gowns:

Phelicia Dell, owner of VèVè Collections, runs a stunning line of artistic, one-of-a-kind women’s handbags.  Each of her purses is fashioned with unique fabric combinations, such as twill-blend bases with brocade-silks corners.  The centers of the bags have sequins and beads sewn in intricate designs, many of which represent the nature in Haiti.

Dell is part of the Vital Voice Board, where women and designers collaborate in outreach to different causes and refugees, including the suffering victims in Haiti.  Among the Board members is Diane Von Furstenberg, the praised designer responsible for the infamous wrap dress.   In 2009, Furstenberg sponsored a global competition where she nominated Ms. Dell as the “Emerging Handbag Designer.”

Phelicia Dell:

Some of Dell’s amazing handbags:

Haiti-native David Andre has become one of my new favorite resort-wear designers.   His exotic, timeless creations are versatile for many occasions from Caribbean cruises to late-night beach parties.  His main inspiration comes from his environment, the music he hears, and the culture he observes..  I definitely can see the lively, Haitian islander life reflected in his bold prints and breezy fabrics.

Andre has been featured in the 2012 London Olympics, as well as Miami Fashion Week.  If he were to choose one celebrity to wear his clothing, it would be Madonna; she transforms the simplest garments into bold, trendy statements.  Andre has done this with several of his pieces.  For instance, he turned a simple, yellow terrycloth dress into a flowing, open-front beach cover.  Unfortunately, his website is currently under construction, but he can reached davidandrecollection@gmail.com for questions about orders, prices, and catalogues.

David Andre:

One of his resortwear designs:

Want more information on the designers or Haitian fashion inspiration? Email me at ericalin.dressesforhaiti@gmail.com.

Until next time,

Erica

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4 thoughts on “Haitian Fashionspiration: Truly Unique Designers Involved in Both Design and Ethics

  1. I would like to thank the writer of this story for including me in her piece. If I have a message for whom ever reads this post it would be to please reach out to an organization that is doing work on the ground in Haiti. Like C2C.org who is working building wells for fresh water. There are still over two hundred and fifty thousand people still living in tents and we need to get them back to their original farm land and get Haiti back producing and growing food. Please join me.

    • Thank you so much for your comment. We would love to conduct an interview with you about both your fashion line and contributions to Haitian causes. If you are interested, I will contact you soon with more details. Thank you for your consideration!
      - Erica

  2. Pingback: Fashion Week in Haiti!! | Dresses For Haiti's Blog

  3. No matter if some one searches for his necessary thing, therefore he/she desires to be available that in detail, thus that thing is maintained
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