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Nicole Miller and Vivienne Westwood have designs on Africa

July 25, 2011 |  8:00 am

When First Lady fashion plate Michelle Obama visited South Africa in June, she nodded to the region's rich textile tradition by wearing a colorful print top from the ASOS Africa fair-trade line. And I've been obsessed with finding African print clothing ever since. 

Nicole As it turns out, ASOS is not the only one dabbling in fair-trade fashion. Nicole Miller recently debuted a selection of brightly colored sarongs, shorts and bangle bracelets in five African prints, as part of a partnership with Indego Africa, a social enterprise that employs more than 250 women in Rwanda. The styles are available online, with 15% of proceeds donated to the organization.

Vivienne Westwood joined forces with the United Nations International Trade Center to debut her Ethical Fashion Collection for

The Nairobi, Kenya-based center employs disadvantaged women, who make the wildly patterned bags for Westwood using recycled materials. Westwood

When the flame-haired designer visited the center this year, she took photographer Juergen Teller with her to capture the project.  "It's quite incredible to think we might be able to save the world through fashion," Westwood said in a statement.


-- Booth Moore


Vivienne Westwood fetes her first U.S. store

Vivienne Westwood opens first U.S. store

Top photo: First Lady Michelle Obama wears an ASOS Africa tunic while visiting the Emthonjeni Community Center in Zandspruit Township, Johannesburg, South Africa, on June 21. Charles Dharapak /Associated Press. Middle photo: Sarong from the Nicole Miller Indego Africa Collection; credit: Nicole Miller. Bottom photo: Vivienne Westwood with bags from her Ethical Fashion Collection. Credit: Juergen Teller.