In a modern-day fairytale come true, South African lifestyle brand Taunina is launching its handcrafted soft toy collections at iconic luxury department store Barneys New York.
This legendary specialty retailer located on Manhattan’s prestigious Madison Avenue is every fashionista’s best friend – the ‘go-to’ store for sought after designer brands. Taunina’s exquisite collections will be unveiled in March 2013, taking center-stage in Barney’s show-stopping Easter display - a coup for the Cape-based design house.
Arguably, the coolest department store in the world, with a deftly blended mix of cult-followed designer newbies and established luxury brands, Barneys’ A-list clientele includes chart-topping pop stars, Hollywood actresses – Sarah Jessica Parker, Reese Witherspoon and Halle Berry, fashion celebrities and New York City socialites.
“It is a 9-story magical castle overflowing with beautiful, timeless and unique pieces of art. The perfect hideaway for our artists’ enchanting creations,”said Tracey Chiappini-Young, co-founder and CEO of Taunina.
Established in 2011 the sustainable luxury brand based in the hip suburb of Woodstock, employs underprivileged women skilled in its signature artistry to handcraft its heirloom-quality collections. Each piece is one-of-a-kind, created by a single artist over a four to seven day period and embellished with exquisite embroidery and appliqué detail.
"We are delighted to offer our one-of-a-kind Taunina treasures to Barneys' discerning clientele, and to provide them with the opportunity to serve as ambassadors of social good and protagonists for a better world,”said co-founder Karen Jansen. They meet the growing needs of disadvantaged communities through employment creation and authentic empowerment.
Besides paying the artists above market-related salaries, Taunina is structured so that 30% of the before tax profits flow to the artists: 20% through the Bear Essentials Fund to pay for housing, healthcare, and education, and 10% in the form of productivity-related bonuses.
Each Taunina creation carries the initials of the artist and is a manifestation of the artist’s inspiration and dreams for the future, providing her with financial security and the ability to transform both her own life and that of her family.
“The unique beauty of each collection piece lies in how it transforms the life of the women who made it, and establishes a lifetime connection between the artist and the purchaser,” said Chiappini-Young.
Taunina’s soft toy collections made their New York City debut in September 2012 at premier children’s boutique store Bundle where these South African hand-made collectables flew off the shelves within a week. Taunina will be releasing its home décor range in April 2013.