‘I Am Kréyol’ for Haitian Women

(L-R) Monvelyno and Riva Nyri Precil performing during the I Am Kréyol capsule collection preview. (Photo by Delfine Kernizan via The Haitian Times)

On the afternoon of April 7, in the Wolf & Badger boutique in SoHo, a tambou (Haitian drum) accompanied Haitian folk songs performed by Riva Nyri Precil as models presented the I Am Kréyol Lotus Capsule Collection. In a story for The Haitian Times, Delfine Kernizan spoke to the designer of the nature-inspired garments and her goal of creating jobs for Haitian women.

“The Lotus collection is exactly what it is,” said designer and founder, Joelle Fontaine. “So if you think about the lotus flower, you know, she’s kind of like the flower that grows in unfavorable conditions. And I think that’s what the I Am Kréyol woman represents. She represents someone who is resilient, who’s bold, who’s strong. She’s able to grow in an area where most wouldn’t expect her to grow.”

As a lotus flower herself, having fled political unrest in Haiti and restarting her life and business, Fontaine hopes to use the Lotus Collection’s Indiegogo campaign to go back to Haiti and help other women grow out of unfavorable conditions.

“For me, it’s been a long time coming and it’s been something that I’ve wanted to do for many, many years,” she said. “To be able to go back home and impact job creation back home and to be able to impact the lives of women back home so that they can have choices. So they can have the opportunity to create the lives that they want.”

While T-shirts and tote bags are produced in Haiti, Fontaine wants to manufacture the whole collection in the country if she acquires enough funds.

For more on I Am Kréyol, including how its pieces go “beyond traditional Haitian influences,” go to The Haitian Times.

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