Here’s what a sustainable, inclusive photoshoot can look like

Custom Collaborative runs a 14-week training institute that teaches participants the craft and business skills necessary to work in the fashion industry, empowering low- to no-income immigrant women with sustainable fashion and society at large. Our mission is to help you succeed. Focus and results will vary for each participant. Some women produce clothing that they can sell and establish their own brands. Some work with brands and gain in-house design and manufacturing experience before choosing the next step. This is because the goal is not to foster a particular designer mold, but to help each resident pave the way to success. Girlfriend.

The organization has trained more than 75 women in the six years since its inception. While supporting the women who enroll in its programs, Mara has built a passionate reputation among followers and brands such as Her Hoffmann and Chanel for its holistic approach to social and environmental issues. long term. But it’s unlikely that the women Custom Collaborative calls residents will see or experience the more glamorous side of the industry, where models are spoiled and designers see their work in the coveted spotlight. Rarely. Okaro wanted to change that.

The shoot took place on November 1st and featured 15 residents and 17 designs (two of whom were unable to attend the photo shoot itself), with industry-renowned photographer Camila Falquez behind the camera. I was in The idea of ​​the shoot was to showcase not just the design, but the women who made it, and in the process, centered around the different backgrounds, sizes, and ages they represent.

“I couldn’t believe how special you felt. The Ecuadorian, who lives in the Bronx, says her new skills are effectively a lifeline after training with Custom Collaborative during the early stages of the pandemic. She can work from her home. This is important for taking care of her husband, who needs full-time care after a severe bout of Covid.

“Usually with photography and product development and sample work, we’re always there to help. It’s been a really great experience to be seen in that light,” says a NYC resident and formerly of Bass. said fellow Dennis Plundy, who worked as a driver for a she said. She designs plus size swimwear. She now samples in hopes of launching her own resort wear brand. I am,” she says.

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