Apparel with purpose – this is the raison d’être behind The Lalela Scarf, an international luxury fashion brand that exclusively supports Lalela, a non-profit arts education programme for at-risk youth in Sub-Saharan Africa. The gorgeous designs that give The Lalela Scarf such vibrant appeal have been created using Lalela learners’ original artworks. It is a sustainable cycle of life-changing art.
New York-based Creative Director Sandy Tabatznik curates each seasonal collection of scarves by drawing on stand-out paintings and then adapting their format.
“Lalela provides educational arts to at-risk youth to spark creative thinking and awaken the entrepreneurial spirit,” she explains. The organization teaches children how to map and manifest their dreams and goals, launching the possibility of a different future for themselves and their communities. From grade 1 to grade 12, Lalela connects arts to everything important in a child’s life, from core academics to critical life skills.
Research shows that arts education improves the lives of students, increasing their academic, social, mental and economic wellbeing over a long-term period. Furthermore, arts education is a key indicator of success in life and academics.
The Lalela Scarf was first conceived as a means of funding Lalela but has grown into a stand-alone luxury brand in its own right and is a member of the prestigious Positive Luxury Brand, which includes other top-tier brands such as Louis Vuitton. While The Lalela Scarf indeed holds a premium positioning in the market, it never loses sight of its intentions. The Lalela Scarf’s mission is wow-factor shopping with responsible cultural impact.
“I am deeply humbled by the impact our fashion items are having on our customers – the feedback from the market is phenomenal! People respond immediately to the visual appeal of the designs themselves, but also to what they are about and where they come from – there’s a deeper and meaningful engagement with the narratives behind the artworks,” says Tabatznik. “It is a privilege to be able to showcase the work of amazingly talented children in this way, and to take their art off the walls into everyday life,” she adds.
The Lalela Scarf releases an all-new collection twice a year, for Fall/Winter and Spring/Summer. The Fall/Winter scarves are designed to hug your neck with the warmth of wool, silk and cashmere. The lighter Spring/Summer items float in breezy featherweight cotton/silks.
The Lalela Scarf’s latest collection was showcased in South Africa at FNB Art Joburg, which took place from 13-15 September 2019 at the Sandton Convention Centre in Johannesburg. The range includes scarves, pocket squares, bandanas and leather bags. Guests will be able to view and buy the new designer products alongside an exhibition of original artworks by Lalela learners. The new fashion pieces are featured in a campaign that was shot by international fashion photographer Higor Bastos, conceptualized and styled by acclaimed local fashion director Bev Nates and realized with talent from Boss Models.
Pieces from the collection will be on sale at FNB Art Joburg and, as ever, all proceeds go towards Lalela. After the art fair concludes, the new range will be available through selected retail outlets in the USA, South Africa and Australia, and online via www.thelalelascarf.co.za or www.thelalelascarf.org.