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BOK JOY: Slow Food, Slow Fashion

 

Join The Explorers Club on Thursday, February 8th at 6pm to kick off New York Fashion Week. In partnership with Roots Studio, we will be hosting an evening to celebrate fashion co-created with Indigenous artists. For nearly a decade, Roots Studio’s mission is to bridge cultures between global communities and fashion, through digital licensing and royalty generation of their cultural heritage.

This evening will showcase Roots Studio’s new label RURBAN, featuring their most recent collection, BOK JOY. Last summer, Roots Studio founder and EC50 Honoree Rebecca Hui backpacked overstock from three quintessential NYC brands – Noah, 3.1 Philip Lim, and Triple Five Soul – to partner Miao and Buyi communities in Guizhou, China. The artists from Roots Studio’s collective incorporated traditional techniques, stories, and materials onto jean jackets, crewnecks, and sweatshirts. Using local blue dyes made from farm-grown indigo and mountain water, hand-spun cotton, and traditional silver embellishments, the artisans worked their magic, fusing their traditional heritage with NYC designer garments. In addition, biodegradable pieces made of bamboo, orange, soybeans, and coconut, will be available for purchase, and will also inspire the menu and special cocktails for the evening.

RESERVATIONS

This will be an in-person event at Explorers Club Headquarters. The opening reception begins at 6:00 pm, with a fireside chat and a brief documentary detailing the creation of BOK JOY at 7:00 pm, with a Lunar New Year party to follow. Enjoy dumplings while perusing garments co-created with Indigenous communities in India and China, or share cocktails with the Rurban crew while customizing your clothing with original artworks at the patching station. 1 of 1 upcycled garments, art, and limited edition biodegradable garments will be for sale. 100% of profits go back to the communities.

 

 

With many larger brands misappropriating culture for content, EC50 honoree Rebecca Hui founded Roots Studio in 2016 to reimagine cultural preservation through digital intellectual property licensing in the fashion industry. Hui recognized that rural artisans around the globe often face discrimination, land loss, or unstable farming conditions, forcing them to leave their communities and become migrant laborers in cities. In this cycle of urbanization, many traditional practices are left behind and forgotten, a significant loss for Indigenous peoples and global culture.

Roots Studio focuses on exploring the potential of renewal and remixing as an avenue for colliding fashion with impact. The organization combats appropriation and exclusion with direct pipelines to coworking solutions within Indigenous communities around the world. Working to preserve tradition and retain passion for craft, Roots Studio artisans upcycle, customize, and create collaborative collections with brands on their terms, from their turf. 

Roots Studio works at the grassroots level to license Indigenous art and introduce it to prominent runways and galleries. But she isn’t just reimagining art in these spaces. Hui is building new, sustainable chains of revenue for rural villages, with the communities’ royalties for patterns and art averaging five to 20 times the original selling price.

In the Fall of 2023, Roots Studio dropped the BOK JOY collection to showcase the brilliance of Indigenous craft and regenerative agriculture in everyday clothing. Mixing biodegradable fabrics with traditional printing & embroidery methods, this collection exemplifies that sustainable solutions are possible within a market dominated by fast fashion.

schedule

Schedule

6:00 Opening Reception
7:00 Bridging Cultures with Fashion; a Fireside Chat
7:45 Lunar New Year Celebration
Speakers

Rebecca Hui

EC50 2023 Honoree

Rebecca Hui is an entrepreneur and designer passionate about bridging cultures. She is the founder of Roots Studio, which reimagines cultural preservation through IP and royalty licensing. For nearly a decade, Roots Studio represents 42 Indigenous and rural communities globally, building equitable fashion collaborations with Patagonia, PrAna, Outdoor Research, and NOAH, which have resulted in a 23% increase in annual community income. Roots Studio has been featured in The Business of Fashion as “The Antidote to Cultural Appropriation”, and has been recognized in PBS Newshour, MIT Technology Review, Vogue Business 100, Cartier Women’s Initiative, Forbes Under 30, and Echoing Green. In a previous life as an urban designer, she built mapping projects from utilizing remote sensing data to equip communities and governments to be more flood disaster resilient, to understanding the impact for coral reef conservation with Allen Coral Atlas. For 2 years, she worked with the Indian Government on mapping urbanization for 44,000 villages in India for water allocation. Rebecca started her journey as a Fulbrighter and National Geographic Explorer in India mapping human-animal coexistence. In her free time, she is off grid water coloring landscapes and quirky animals. She released her first children’s book, “Old Enough to Make a Difference,” distributed through Abrams.

February 8,2024
February 8, 2024
6:00 PM
6:00 PM
The Explorers Club
The Explorers Club
Exploring Fashion – From Rural Villages to Runways Click here to purchase tickets

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