Celebrated Italian-Haitian designer Stella Jean turned her participation in the 4th edition of Haiti Fashion Week into a partnership for the future of the Haitian fashion industry, garnering support from Haiti’s Prime Minister Paul Evans along with the Centre Haitien d’Appui et de Promotion d’Entreprises (CHAPE).
The Rome-based designer, whose works were selected by London’s Victoria & Albert Fashion museum in 2014 as ‘The future of Italian fashion’, has been committed to promoting the role of social and ethical enterprise since she began in 2013.
The designer now expands her interests in Haiti creating ‘Modayiti’, a new ecco-textile cooperative set to establish roots of fashion production in the developing country.
Last November 40 designers from the Caribbean and the United States presented their collections in Haiti at the Karibe Convention Center for Haiti Fashion Week. Stella Jean’s participation this season was to celebrate the efforts of the young and talented designers who took part in the show.
Thanks to the commitment and zeal of the organizers Maguy Durce, Michel Chataigne, and thanks to the presence of Prime Minister Paul Evans, the designer had a chance to see for herself, the attention and respect of artistic and cultural traditions of fashion in her homeland.
She was especially moved by the use of sustainable materials, combined with ethical procedures, which all know, is near and dear to Stella Jean’s heart. Stella saw this as a great opportunity to further Haiti in the Fashion industry.
To support their efforts Stella Jean opened, in partnership with the Haitian Network of Designers (HAND) and the Centre Haitien d’Appui et de Promotion d’Entreprises (CHAPE), a workshop called ‘ModAyiti’ that employs more than 100 women, among which are artisans, seamstresses and pattern makers.
The Modayiti enterprise was created to support the textile industry and promotes entrepreneurship, the production of clothes and accessories with the values of quality, sustainability and respect; infusing the values of ethical fashion practices promoted by Stella Jean.
Stella’s vision and leadership in this new enterprise in Haiti and her relentless commitment to how fashion is produced, beyond aesthetics, can be a vehicle in Haiti for economic growth, and social and ethical enterprise, and serve as a roadmap for global change in the fashion industry.