This week on the blog, Susan Hull Walker, Founder + Creative Director of Ibu Movement, shares the collaborative relationship between Ibu and the Gibbes Museum over the years aimed at celebrating women, and the exciting event Ibu has planned for International Women’s Day on March 8 at the Gibbes, complete with a fashion show through the galleries!
Just out the Gibbes garden door and across the parking lot is a little second floor studio
on King Street cranking out – not fine art – but exquisite artisan craft. Here, I renovated an
old furniture warehouse, gathered a sterling team of designers and retail chiefs, and
opened the Ibu Movement four years ago to this day. My goals in this are two: to put
money in the hands of global women artisans and to preserve the remarkable textiles skills
of the world.
When legendary designer Charlotte Moss came to speak at the Gibbes Museum in 2014 for the Art of Design Luncheon , I was lucky to meet her and discover her passionate interest in our work. Soon, Charlotte agreed to be an Ibu Ambassador and designed an entire Fall Collection for Ibu, while our design team served as the liaison with the artisans. Ali Macgraw did the same, designing two collections and working closely with our team.
The result is that Ibu now collaborates with over 100 artisan groups in 38 countries, mostly
in countries where women have no other opportunity for work or income or voice,
sometimes where war and violence have cut off hope of any enterprise. By drawing from
the skills these women already possess and finding ways to bring them to this market,
everything changes: children receive health care and education and a more promising
future, women gain respect and often take on new leadership in their communities.
Over these few years, I have enjoyed a beautiful friendship with our neighbors at the
Gibbes. The Gibbes Women’s Council came to Ibu to learn more about how textiles have
served as a woman’s text, a language in cloth, often the outlet (without reading or writing
available to them) to record their stories, their lives. With pleasure, I worked with the
Gibbes to style the Street Party Sponsor’s Party at the former Saracen building, bringing my collection of Moroccan wares to enhance the poetry of that moorish architecture.
And so, it is with great excitement that we again are collaborating with the Gibbes Museum
to offer a celebration of International Women’s Day on March 8, now launching a non-profit
arm of the Ibu Movement, a way to further support women artisans in building successful
ventures by providing workspace, equipment, design and business training. Ibu at the
Gibbes will welcome guests at 6PM for a champagne reception. And completing the circle perfectly, Charlotte Moss is returning to speak on behalf of the new Ibu Foundation.
At this event, Ibu is unveiling our new World Dress: one flattering dress pattern rendered in
20 different languages of cloth by women artisans around the world. An elegant runway
will wind quietly through the galleries, allowing guests a front row view of the dresses and
all of the accompanying accessories in the midst of the Gibbes stellar collection of art,
before shopping the luxury goods in the Gibbes reception hall.
It is a joy to work with Angela Mack, Jena Clem and Katie Borges at the Gibbes Museum, crafting a celebratory evening and strengthening our ties with our beloved neighbors at the Museum.
Tickets to this event may be purchased here at www.ibumovement.com. All are
-Susan Hull Walker, guest blogger and Ibu Founder + Creative Director
-Published February 28, 2019
-Top Image: Elizabeth Ervin Photography