Wealth and Elegance 2.0
by Ingrid Bruha, ethical fashion designer
The day I inherited my grandmother’s fur coats–then a symbol of wealth and elegance–I stared at them. I did not want to wear them, nor did I want to throw them away. I had never agreed with the necessary cruelty to produce these coats. But getting rid of them was not an option either: It would have meant killing the animals a second time. So, I ripped them apart; I added the pieces to the bags I was designing; and consciously, I created luxurious totes, pouches and clutches with mostly products that were either recycled or unused leftovers.
I invested into two ideas: to protect our resources and to invest into a circular economy; two ideas that are growing fast across all industries.
Tres Abejas for a Nectar Named Happiness: The new Café in Mexico’s Colonia Roma
Just like his brother Rafael Tovar y de Teresa, the former and first ever Mexican minister of Culture who wanted his country to shine through ideas, music, dance and visual arts, the late Guillermo Tovar de Teresa was a man of letters and knowledge.
Until his death in 2013, Guillermo spent his life in various homes of la Colonia Roma in Mexico City, chronicling from his wooden office the life of a city he was enamored with. His latest address of more than two decades was on 52 Valladolid, steps away from Parque Mexico. The writer’s two bedrooms—one for the winter; another one for the summer—have remained as they were at the end of his life, and tucked behind his office, a courtyard still hides a marbled angel. The 119-year old house, filled with Tovar’s collection of more than 10,000 books, paintings and furniture from the 19th century, porcelains from France and a Victorian lush garden, is now part of the Soumaya Museum.
Somewhere inside 52 Valladolid, there are tiny purple-pale blue flowers with a yellow pistil alongside a green ivy. They could be hidden on a painting or an object.
Try to find them or venture pass the tall, heavy door, next to the villa’s entrance on Valladolid. Separating the home in two, a long narrow-path has morphed into a contemporary European-style bar: a place for people to reflect, think, exchange ideas, and perhaps even love.
Its name is Tres Abejas (three bees).
It Is Not The Bullet That Kills
She has been known as Lady Liberty.
On June 28th, 2019, dressed in white clothes, Alaa Salah stood on the stage of the 3rd edition of the Women in Africa summit that took place in Marrakesh, Morocco. Next to her was Hafsat Abiola, the Nigerian activist, entrepreneur and President of Women in Africa – the only Panafrican summit for African women in business, entrepreneurship, science, culture, and politics.
“It is not the bullet that kills…” Alaa Salah said in Arabic in front of the 550 delegates.
Omowale, The Child Has Come Home
Firechat with with Tope Fajingbesi Balogun, author and founder of United for Kids and of She-Eo
Member of the American Delegation to the 2019 Women in Africa Summit
The day Social Entrepreneur and Nigerian-born Tope Fajingbesi met with Presidential hopeful Hillary Clinton, she still thought she would end up working in the White House developing a project she calls Omowale (literally: the child has come home). The former accountant turned author, activist and serial entrepreneur is participating in the 2019 American delegation to the Women in Africa summit in Marrakech (June 27-28), along with former co-host of The View and lawyer Star Jones, Vital Voices President Alyse Nelson, media leader Ann Walker Marchant, Cartier Women’s Initiative Award North America judge and angel investor Birame Sock, Founder of Shea Radiance Funlayo Alabi, filmmaker Felicia Taylor, New York based ethical designer Ingrid Bruha and EBW founder Ingrid Vanderveldt among others (full list of delegates: check out http://www.wia-initiative.com/ and app).
Last November, I had the pleasure to interview twice Jane Fonda when the French Institute-Alliance Française awarded her the 2018 Trophée des Arts. To celebrate the 2019 International Women’s Day, here is an updated article based on these conversations. The two-time Academy Award winner explained how she made a first name for herself as a young adult in France, thus becoming a major trailblazer.