Today, Kicheko launches its late summer|early fall lookbook called "Midsummer's Night Reign." The first production of its kind; Kicheko, meaning "smile or laughter" in Swahili, is a cause-based brand that produces and promotes social goods.
Proceeds from sales go towards orphan care and continuing education in eastern Congo. Essentially, every pair of earrings helps a child eat and go to school. View the new collection here.
My desire with Kicheko is to bridge stories of hope centered around children who have been orphaned by the conflict and people who would like to engage and do good. Providing stability in the form of food and continuing education are central to holistically encouraging these kids to dream, hope, and work hard towards building up their communities and together, their country.
Why Eastern Congo? Heart Relationship really. It is a privilege to be part of 57 gifted and beautiful children's lives in the eastern Congo through a relationship formed three years ago with a local community and the community's leader, Jeremiah. Through this relationship, I've met 57 children, 25 staff, and a resilient community of people around them. I don't take these relationships for granted and Kicheko is one way I know how to bridge my creativity with a deep need.
About the Shoot Erica and I scouted out a location that is currently caught between modernization and preservation. Half of the grounds are modern condominiums while the other half retains a 1940's glamour in an overrun and haunted kind of way. The crew arrived around 5am to make sure we captured morning golden hour and we shot for five hours through two looks and numerous earrings and headpiece changes. Exploring the grounds from wild grasses to boarded up buildings and stone statues, the shoot was so much fun. We all got caught up in the beauty of being in such a still and rich place as dawn slowly progressed through the skies. And to think this place is just a stone's throw from the District! The shoot was only a concept in my head a few months ago. To see it through and have awesome artistic women and friends come alongside to help make this a reality just puts warm, grateful fuzzies in my heart.