The centerpieces were a major distraction, recalls Deborah Lloyd, Kate Spade New York's chief creative officer, of the "peace baskets" that adorned the tables at a luncheon for Women for Women, which provides job training to survivors of war in places like Sudan, Kosovo, and Afghanistan. Handwoven by Rwandan women, the baskets were so captivating that Lloyd grabbed a few on her way out.
A few months later, Kate Spade had partnered with the Rwandan weavers to design a line of handbags inspired by the baskets. For 18 months, the company trained the women on how to produce a luxury carryall. In exchange, the weavers were paid fair-market wages, some three times what their work would normally fetch in Rwanda. "The bags are very chic. Without even knowing the backstory, they feel very Kate Spade," says Lloyd.
Each handbag, available in hot-pink or black raffia, is one-of-a-kind — a hangtag bears the signature of the woman who wove it. Best of all, they are available exclusively to MC readers for $150 through March 8.
The Kate Spade New York Women for Women Quinn ($150).
Women for Women International, which provides job training to impoverished women in war-torn countries.
Exclusive to MC readers by clicking here from now until March 8. It will then be available at Kate Spade stores.