KTravel: A Fashion Lesson in Haiti (Photojournal)

During our trip to Haiti with Fleur de Vie, we had the oppurtunity to meet some amazing people. I can’t begin to tell you the awe I felt while walking through the botanical gardens with former Prime Minister, Michèle Pierre-Louis (pictures to come). Let it suffice to say, she was an amazing woman.

While having drinks in the clouds atop of one of Haiti’s highest peaks, we were joined by a charming man named Hans. For the fashionphiles among us, back in the 1960s, Hans became the first black buyer in the United States. He regaled us with his stories of Harlem riots and meetings with Malcolm X. At the close of an amazing evening, he invited us to come see his factory.

Away from the hustle and bustle of Port-au-Prince, Hans has a expansive factory that also is used to teach classes and have meetings.  As impressive as the facility was, the work of the beaders was extraordinary.

As we walked into the work area, there were several tables covered in beads, string and thin pieces of paper.

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Seated at small tables, the master beaders swiftly but carefully embellish long pieces of fabric using the paper patterns. Did we mention they do it without looking at the other side?P1020860

The results we saw on the other side was remarkable. The bag featured faces in different shades. The faces are in honor of Hans’ son and all the sons of Haiti.
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With a bright smile, one of the workers let me snap a picture as he sewed the lining in one of the bags.
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The end result was beautiful. Seeing the hands that made it was priceless.P1020931Did I mention I snagged this clutch as well?

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