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April 25, 2013

New TOMS Collection Helps Haiti

By Erin Schumaker | Art, Philanthropy

TOMS shoes
TOMS Haiti Artist Collective, Pierre's Sketch Night Men's Classics, $68.00, available exclusively at TOMS.com. Photo courtesy of TOMS

TOMS—the philanthropic shoe company that promises to donate a new pair of shoes to a child in need for each pair purchased—is at it again. The brand’s latest initiative is the Haiti Artist Collective, a line of colorful, one-of-a-kind shoes ($68 a pair) hand-painted by Haitian artists between the ages of 18 and 45 and inspired by traditional Haitian art. The two-part collection launched its first line in March (a second line of styles is scheduled for July), and was created in conjunction with Caribbean Craft, a Port-au-Prince–based organization that supports local artisans. The initiative is intended to drive economic growth on the island of Haiti, which has had one of the world’s highest unemployment rates since 2010, when an earthquake devastated the area. Founder Blake Mycoskie says the crux of the project is the “potential of creating sustainable jobs and highlighting creative talent.” Sounds like a very worthy goal.

For more on the artists behind TOMS new line, click here. Limited-edition collection available at the TOMS Los Angeles flagship, 1344 Abbot Kinney Blvd.; 310-314-9700; toms.com.