IFAM & Donna Karen’s Urban Zen space join forces to create an international Christmas market where you can give back to local communities and artists.
Donna Karen’s Urban Zen has long hosted events that bring awareness to ethical consumption of fashion.
The venue which only a month ago hosted an exhibition about the ecological effects of mass production of ready to wear fashion, have geared up for the holiday season by collaborating with IFAM (International Folk Art Market) to bring folk artists from all over the globe to sell their products in this space.
The Holiday Marketplace is featuring 45 international artisans from 22 countries, with handmade products that range from jewelry and apparel to furniture, home décor, and art.
As one might assume that such pieces would not be pocket-friendly, I found it pleasantly surprising that the space offers a variety of prices that are suitable for everyone.
The space apparently hosted all the participating artists, and of course, how suitable, they left a day before I got to the showroom. Which is very ironic, funny and a little upsetting, considering that I live right around the corner and have planned to go in every day since it opened.
South African artist, Ana Srdic decided to stay around for a little while, and we got to talk about her projects with the local tribes in her country.
As an anthropologist and an economy entrepreneur, she expressed her responsibility for women empowerment who live in those communities.
“I don’t want them to only learn the craft, it is not about teaching techniques of jewelry design” said Ana, “I want to teach them how to run their own businesses and be independent. It is a hard task because most times it requires starting from scratch and teaching basic things like how banks and ATM machines work, how can they sell their work and what to do with their money, but I believe this is what I am meant to do in this world and it is very rewarding”.
Modest as she might be, the pieces she creates are worn by A-listers around the world; one particular powerhouse with a special affection for the design and the cause is no other than the woman behind the Urban Zen, Donna Karen.
On this holiday season consider gifting your loved ones with special pieces by giving back to communities around the world.
The market is open throughout December 29th, every day except for the 25th-26th, and it is free to all. Urban Zen, 705 Greenwich Street, NYC