Jones Apparel Group's Rachel Roy has partnered with Fairwinds Trading in an effort to create jobs for African women. Handcrafted items will be integrated into select seasonal collections beginning this spring.
The Rachel Rachel Roy Fairwinds collaboration will be available at rachelroy.com, in select Macy's stores and at macys.com. This collection complements Macy's existing partnership with Fairwinds, including the Rwanda Path To Peace collection, which features baskets handcrafted by Rwandan women.
The collaboration is being promoted online via "aggressive social media outreach" including Roy's Facebook fan page and Twitter, says Amy Rapawy, vice president, marketing at Jones Apparel Group Inc. Direct marketing is also planned.
The collaboration with Fairwinds Trading is part of a series of limited-edition capsule collections that merge fashion with culture, art, music, photography and philanthropy to bring a unique element to the Rachel Rachel Roy brand.
"The partnership was designed to be a long-term initiative where pieces will be integrated into seasonal Rachel Rachel Roy collections," Rapawy tells Marketing Daily. "Some of the other pieces planned for 2010 are scarves and footwear."
The launch collection features a clutch crafted in Tanzania, using indigenous fabrics and textiles as well as a bracelet and earrings handmade in Rwanda. The bracelet is fashioned from shredded woven paper and both the bracelet and earrings feature beads constructed from a unique paper layering process. These one-of-a-kind works of art were created by women using patterns and techniques unique to their community of origin.
"My goal as a working woman and mother is to support women's independence through employment," Roy said in a statement. "For the women who benefit from the Fairwinds Trading partnership, the opportunity to work is an important source of self-respect and financial freedom."