TOMS Collaborates with 30 Haitian Artists for Limited-Edition Shoes
I’ve always been in love with Toms, I’m definitely going to purchase both styles of these shoes.
According to Popsop:
TOMS, a brand known for its philanthropy that found incarnation in the One for One policy, is launching an art-focused project Haiti Artists Collective to create new jobs in Haiti. In partnership with Haiti-based Caribbean Craft, the company commissions 30 Haitian artists aged 18-45 to develop designs for the limited edition TOMS Shoes. The individually painted footwear in both men and women styles will be available at the TOMS website and at its flagship store in the U.S. for $68. Collaboration with the Haitian artists marks a new chapter in the history of the brand’s philanthropic effort. As part of the new program, TOMS aims to support the area that is still recovering after the earthquake in 2010. By providing jobs to the 30 Haiti Artists Collective creatives and their apprentices, TOMS is giving them a voice, a way to connect with the world through their authentic cultural vision, and also helps them support their families and communities.
“For years, I have been inspired by the perseverance and passion of Haitians and the work done in Haiti by people such as Donna Karan and others. The Haiti Artist Collective is the first small step toward us going beyond One for One in Haiti. Our ultimate goal is to provide sustainable jobs that drive artistic expression and generate a desire with customers throughout the TOMS community to participate in this exciting new program,” commented the company’s founder Mycoskie.
The TOMS company was founded in 2006 by American traveler Blake Mycoskie with philanthropy in mind. The brand’s business has been based on the One for One charitable principle: TOMS matches every pair of shoes purchased with a pair of new shoes donated to a kid in need. The company partners with various humanitarian organizations to deliver new footwear to children in the deprived regions, including all 10 departments in Haiti. The company’s range now also includes eyewear, and every time a person buys TOMS sunglasses, the brand donates funds to restore or save the sight of one individual in need.
Watch the film below to learn more about the new program and visit TOMS official website to view the collections and meet the artists.
Norelus started painting full-time in 2007, and is eagerly expanding his skills. He plans on opening up his own workshop in the future to support his mother and sisters with his talents.
In his own words (translated from Creole):
“Before, I was cutting metal but I had to focus on painting after the death of my father to help my family. I’ve been painting for five years and I want to paint more and more.”
After taking lessons at a cultural center as a child, Pierre embarked on full-time career as a painter in 1989. As a father of a 14-year old boy, Pierre’s artwork keeps his son in school. In his own words (translated from Creole):
“As [professional artists], we need structure and to be recognized for our work. With this new project, I can fight for a better future and help my family.”
Since 1994, Louis has been supporting his wife and six children through his art. He even set up a small workshop to teach other children how to paint, and he loves what he’s doing. In his own words (translated from Creole):
“I hope TOMS can hire even more painters to help other artists on the street. The [Haiti Artist Collective] is a big step for us, it’s a blessing that will help our daily lives.”
As a mother of two and primary caretaker of her mother and two youngest brothers, Carlène is a busy woman with high hopes for the future. She has been painting since 1997. In her own words (translated from Creole):
“I want … to earn money and pay for school for my kids. I also want to find a better place for my mum. This is a chance for us to make things better.”