SOLIDARITY, Know-how in exile

Exporting and transmitting ancestral craftsmanship & intangible treasures.

For the good good, the french online media dedicated to sustainable fashion and lifestyle, I wrote an article about Know How and how exil can command a fashion fate.

Read the full article in đŸ‡«đŸ‡· here


News take us to Eastern Europe boarders. Europe, a passing land between East & West, is often a destination for citizens in migration. In their light baggage, they sometimes carry know-how. This connection which weighs nothing and which will make possible to recreate a daily life elsewhere. Thus, an occupation, beyond representing a job, becomes a living proof of culture, a freedom of speach and the testimony of memories left behind by force. An ability to fit in a journey.


Know How : practical knowledge, experience, and ability

Cambridge dictionnary definition


If "April showers bring May flowers", some of these stylists, pattern makers, dressmakers, embroiderers and textile workers, wished for flower power to bring them to a life saving reconstruction. After having dealt with the environmental cost of war, we were interested in these skills which, following a long journey, find a new utility. When the only way out is the road of exodus, what becomes of these wandering destinies and these skills in exile?


Hussein Chalayan, Haute Culture designer

The Cypriot-Turkish fashion designer migrated to England when he was a child. He studied fashion at Central Saint Martins School in London. In 1994, he founded his eponymous brand, which became Studio Chalayan. He describes himself as a man with a “double culture” and considers fashion as an art and an industrial production. His collections combine technology, design and stylistic tests. Innovative and experimental clothes that provoke, like when he dresses the singer Björk. His most iconic piece is the skirt from Afterwords collection, which turns into a table. Spent a time with the Puma and Vionnet brands, he disappeared from catwalks in 2020. He remains the designer inspired by cultural identities, migration and dislocation.


"I am obsessed with migration, historical debate, geography and their influence on culture."

Hussein Chalayan

© Hussein Chalayan


Irina Dzhus, Ukrainian fashion designer in humanitarian exile



Dzhus is a Ukrainian brand created in 2010. Contemporary, unisex and evolving clothing and accessories. Her point of view is avant-garde and utilitarian. Selected for various prizes including the Woolmarkℱ Prize in 2019 and she won the cruelty-free [1] fashion award from the Ukrainian Best Fashion awards. At the beginning of the conflict, in a single suitcase, she gathered pieces from her “Physical” collection and left to take refuge in Warsaw.


Androgynous silhouettes made in natural materials and basic colors, to leave room for versatility in the garments. Bottoms that turn into tops, a skirt into a tote bag. With a great desire to return working to Ukraine, Irina punctually seeks to continue from Poland. The brand donates some of its profits to various NGOs. It benefits of the Ukrainian military and association taking care © Irina Dzhus

of the animals left behind.


" In Poland, my first priority will be to support Ukrainian refugees who are looking for work and are having access to materials."

Irina Dzhus


Lener Cordier, French manufacturer with XXL solidarity



Lener Cordier This historical family group is a fashion manufacturer based in the Nord of France. In 2004, it opened a sister factory in Ukraine which produces the additional collections. At the beginning of March, solidarity trucks are organized with the support of local actors, Façon de Faire and the Red Cross. Donations are sent every week to the factory, which redistributes them.


As Kyiv office had to suddenly close, employees who were wishing for, were immediately invited to shellter in France and to join Hazebrouck's unit. 17 people (employees and their families) have been welcomed, including children awaiting schooling. They all want to go back to Ukraine as soon as possible. In the meantime, production continues because economy should be supported here and there. In a film shot on March 28, Rivne's factory is operating and is continuing to deliver orders to France.


© Lener Cordier


"To cope, we must manage humanitarian time, solidarity time and economic time."

Fréderic Lener, CEO the Lener Cordier group


La Fabrique Nomade, a Parisian place FOR craftsMANSHIP RECONSTRUCTION


La fabrique Nomade, was created in 2016 by InĂšs Mesnar. Its raison d'ĂȘtre is to "Removing obstacles that prevent craftsmen from exercising their true profession", defends the professional development of craftsmen. Whether they are refugees or migrants, the association offers them visibility & training. Today, the textile workshop welcomes 13 dressmakers & 5 embroiderers from all origins (Egypt, Ukraine, Russia, Senegal, Tibet, Sri Lanka, Japan
).


Integration rate proves the commitment of these talents: 76% of craftsmen found a job after their training. Companies see it as a solution for local, united and qualitative craftsmanship, From ceramics to goldsmithery, about fashion LVMH already understood their potential.

© La fabrique Nomade


At the end of the road


Routes, uprooted gestures of craftsmanship, open a way to move from a society of good to a society of relashionship. A bond tighted with a place, a customer, a supplier or a colleague, whose new life will take root, temporarily while waiting to get back on the road or in a new home. Each destiny is different and free.


Humanity and enthusiasm, creation is life. It is the living.

Hubert BarriĂšre, Maison Lesage [2]


European, Asian, African or South American, these skills are hands that bear the marks of a past job, minds that adapt their skills to another space-time. Eyes with wet pupils testifying the unimaginable path crossed or lighting up with hope when transmitting their knowledge. As for, to make known the usefulness of their profession. As if once there, work became one with their will to accomplish “their part of the world” [3].


[1] Cruelty free, here has an extended meaning since the designer does not use any material fabrics that requires killing or mistreating an animal. (no silk or leather)