Last night, menswear brand Bespoken opened up its newly renovated rugged-chic midtown studio to fete stylist Julie Ragolia and her new collaboration with ethically-minded accessories company Senhoa. The event was attended by a smattering of editors, cool kids, and people Ragolia has worked with throughout her diverse career as a stylist, brand consultant (for labels like Bespoken), editor, street style star (she's on the cover of The Sartorialist's first book) and, now, designer.
Ragolia got connected with Senhoa while styling The Greenshows--a fashion show for ethically-minded brands--during NYFW last year. "I was looking for accessories to go with the collections that were ethically-minded," she explained. "[I wanted to find something] that was not the stereotype of what we think about ethical fashion, something that was to my style, to my taste." She had heard about Senhoa's last collaboration with Coco Rocha, did some research, and ended up not only using the jewelry, but embarking on a full-on capsule collection.
Senhoa provides assistance, education, training and opportunities to women and girls who are survivors of sexual exploitation in Cambodia. Survivor artisans individually handcraft every piece of Senhoa jewelry with 100% of sales funding Senhoa initiatives. “Our passion is to create opportunities for survivor artisans to earn an income, share their stories and raise awareness against modern slavery. The jewelry is another form of advocacy for this issue,” says Lisa T.D. Nguyen, Founder of Senhoa.
"I'm a menswear editor for Man of the World magazine--I'm fashion director there--and I work with designers like Bespoken and Carlos Campos, so I wanted to put some aspect of menswear into it, but also my personal taste is quite minimal, quite masculine, so I wanted to infuse that," Ragolia explained. Thus, the collection is unisex, and really cool.
Ragolia's is not the only stylist collaboration to make headlines recently--they've become increasingly common. Rather than a trend, however, Ragolia thinks they're an inevitability. "I don't know if it's a trend as much as it is that we [stylists] live amongst so much clothing, so much accessories, that it's sort of inevitable that you're going to kind of put two and two together and have an idea."
And would she ever design her own collection? "Gladly! I would gladly design my own collections."
For now, you can buy the super cute, Swarovski-adorned (and affordable) collection at Senhoa.com or at trendy UES boutique FiveStory (owner Claire Distenfeld also co-hosted the event). Click through to see the full look book.