#HEARTMOVEMENT, CATERINA OCCHIO, EUROPEAN COMMISSION, FAIR LUXURY, FAIR TRADE, ITC ETHICAL FASHION, JEWELRY, MISSONI, SEEME, sustainability, SUZY MENKES, TUNISIA, TURKEY, UN, WOMENS EMPOWERMENT, WORLD FAIRE TRADE ORGANIZATION
By Sass Brown, NYC Editor
Launched in 2013, SeeMe produce sleek heart shaped jewelry handcrafted by female victims of violence. The jewelry is produced in Tunisia and Turkey by women trained as artisans, and coming from the shelter home run by the Aal association in Tunis and by the Keid association in Ankara. Fair trade certified, SeeMe empowers women victims of violence to lead independent lives through the provision of sustainable work, aiming at bridging the gap between luxury and fair trade. Certified by the World Faire Trade Organization, SeeMe operates in accordance with the WFTO 10 Fair Trade principles.
Deceptively simple lines focus on the linear purity of the shape of the heart, large gold or silver heart shaped pendants are casually hung through long chains, are curiously wrapped around the wrist and double back over fingers. Produced in silver and gold, the main collection features hearts of all shapes and sizes. The precious fine jewelry collection is produced with the skill of Armenian diamond setters in Lebanon and decorated with semi-precious stones in a variety of colors. The highlight of the collection is the unique wrap ring, conceived by the Dutch designer Peter Bedner.
Developed as part of a UNIDO project supporting creative and cultural industries in the South Mediterranean region, SeeMe’s first fine jewelry collection will be produced with ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative support. SeeMe is in the process of setting up a workshop to train, employ and welcome Lebanese and Palestinian women who have suffered violence. The SeeMe model is based on the conviction that charity is not sustainable, and independent income is required to achieve long-term, positive change.
The result of a decade of work in the Middle East and North Africa, founder Caterina Occhio was a development aid manager specializing in social inclusion for 15 years, experienced in supporting employment and institutional reform. Working extensively for the European Commission, and a variety of UN agencies, she specialized in the socio-economic integration of women, and helped pioneer the fair luxury movement.
SeeMe has garnered a serious fan base through the support of the likes of Suzy Menkes, and Angela and Rosita Missoni, and the collection is sold a Colette – Paris, Luisa Via Roma – Firenze, Excelsior – Roma, Biffi – Milano, Joyce – Hong Kong, and Beaker – Seoul, to name just a few of the iconic retail outlets. “Wear one. Give one. Support one.” Join the #heartmovement.
Photo Credit: SeeMe