Shopping with a conscience is hitting Los Angeles this week in the form of the Indagare pop-up souk or global bazaar, which features exquisite handmade products from women's cooperatives in Mexico, India, Rwanda, Kenya, the Philippines and Lebanon.
For globetrotters and those who love to give back when they shop, the Indagare trunk show, which makes its debut in Los Angeles at the Peninsula Beverly Hills on Tuesday and Wednesday, is a market you must visit. As the former travel editor of Town & Country magazine and founder of travel website Indagare.com, I hosted the first souk (which means marketplace in Arabic) two years ago. I wanted to introduce my friends to some of the amazing designers and artisans that I had come across in my travels, and the way that they were going beyond charity to create commercial opportunities in traditional communities.
Among the inspiring women I have assembled for this week's show are a former Masai model whose mission-driven company creates luxury baby knits, a former dancer with the Philippine National Dance Company whose fashion line incorporates embroidery techniques from regional tribes, and a photojournalist who incorporates camel bone and cow horn into 18-karat fine jewelry.
Here are profiles of some of these enterprising and inspiring artisans and their treasures.
Since the success of Indagare's first trunk show two years ago, we have been expanding our network and adding events, including an online site and this week's event in Los Angeles -- the first on the West Coast. Whether shoppers spend a lot or a little, they get to walk away with special treasures and the knowledge that they are celebrating cultural differences and endorsing indigenous crafts, cultures and lifestyles. I see our souks as proof that shoppers and travelers with a conscience can help others across the globe.
The Indagare Souk will be held at the Peninsula Beverly Hills Hotel (9882 Santa Monica Blvd., Beverly Hills). There will be a member preview from 10 a.m to 12 p.m. Tuesday, but public hours will be from 12 p.m. to 8 p.m. both days.