Minka Kelly's Passion Project
Her new collab with fashionABLE is beautiful inside and out—just like the actress.
We all know that true beauty comes from within and it's the best thing in the world when someone lives that motto in the public eye. Actress Minka Kelly is doing just that. To celebrate Sunday's International Women's Day, the stylish actress launched her collaboration with fashionABLE, an accessories brand that creates sustainable jobs for women in Africa. Read on to find out why she clutches the Hibret (Amheric for "collaboration") purses so close to her heart.
On her first trip to Africa: "I lost my mother in 2008, and I decided the only way to for me to fill that hole in my heart was to be of service. Through fashionABLE, I got to visit Ethiopia and Kenya. At the Women at Risk Center, I realized a lot of time women have to make really difficult choices when they need to support their families. A lot of times these choices can be judged, and these people written off as people who don’t deserve love, respect or dignity. The common thing that I heard from these women is they were afraid that their children were going to be ashamed of them. And so I just became really inspired to make sure that I let them know that their children are going to be proud of them, that they should be proud of themselves and that I’m proud of them—not only for making these heroic choices to support their families but also because they made the decision to change their lives [through the] program, to learn how to make these goods in order to generate income and live a dignified life. My favorite thing about fashionABLE is that they’re not about charity—they’re about creating opportunities. The thing that sets them apart is they don’t just donate money or drop off food; they teach these women how to generate their own income, so that when we leave they’re still supporting themselves and will for the rest of their lives."
On the collab: "When I first went to Ethiopia, they were only making candles and greeting cards, and when I went back last year they had grown so much. They were making scarves and leather goods. When we got to the leather factory, I just got so excited, inspired and impressed by everything. I started jumping up and down and was like, ‘Can we make something right now?’ We just started putting things together and picking out colors that we loved—it was a very spontaneous, organic thing. When we got around to the design of the clutch, the only thing I felt was missing was what I think fashionABLE is known for: scarves. When you open the clutch, you’re reminded of these women; it’s a little party inside."
On personal style: "I like feeling strong, empowered and really confident by putting on a heel, but most often my feet hurt and I just want to be in a pair of flip-flops. Overall I want to be comfortable; I’m a bit of a tomboy, so I love the opportunity to have something like these clutches be able to class up, dress up or [accent] whatever I’m wearing. I also love that these pouches are so versatile. They can be dressed up with a really beautiful women’s pantsuit or [down with] jeans and a t-shirt. It can be worn as a clutch or put in your bigger bag as a cosmetics case. [They] make me feel beautiful on the inside as well as the outside because I know by wearing this I’m giving one of these wonderful women I got to spend time with opportunity. That’s what’s most exciting for me: how you can use fashion."
Stock up on Kelly's socially-conscious pouches here.