11 Questions With Custom Collaborative

After discovering a hole in the fashion market, Ngozi Okaro founded Custom Collaborative, a New York City-based development program that trains and supports women from low-income and immigrant communities through fashion.

The program nurtures and supports women as they develop sewing skills and tools to overcome employment barriers, turning the tables on marginalized women by lifting them up to economic independence. We got to sit down to Ngozi and go behind her mission to serve an otherwise under-served population of powerful and capable women:

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More Than Just Measuring And Stitching

“This is a great place to start getting out of your comfort zone,” says Eileen O’Garro, valedictorian of the September 2018 graduating class at Custom Collaborative’s Training Institute. Eileen’s story exemplifies the commitment, hard work, and creativity the Institute requires of its students. When she first enrolled, she recalls, “I was thinking it was going to be something very cutesy, but you quickly realize that it’s pretty intense.”

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Loving Fashion and Fashioning Love

Custom Collaborative’s new short film, “Fashion Is Love,” explores questions like these as it focuses on sustainability, equity, and inclusivity in the art, craft, and business of fashion. Featuring three graduates from Custom Collaborative’s Training Institute, “Fashion Is Love” helps audiences appreciate fashion design as an art form in the context of a mechanized global industry.

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