Joelle Jean-Fontaine partners with Action for Boston Community Development for HIV/AIDS campaign
Kassmin Williams | 10/10/2013, 6 a.m.
When Joelle Jean-Fontaine launched her clothing line KREYOL, she set out to do more than create trendy clothing and accessories.
The designer wanted her line to dig deeper than appearance and shed light on the difficulties surrounding her homeland Haiti, where the brand’s name originates.
“We are a very fashion-forward brand but we are a very conscious brand as well,” Jean-Fontaine said. “We know that we have a purpose and we want to communicate that purpose, so we really want to use fashion to communicate what it is we’re trying to say.”
For the fall I AM KREYOL Bazaar event, the fashion brand has partnered with Action for Boston Community Development to launch the “Safer is Sexy” HIV/AIDS awareness campaign.
The event will be from 4 to 8 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 12 at the Erick Jean Center for the Arts.
I AM KREYOL Bazaar is a seasonal marketplace and art show featuring fashion designers, performers and visual artists from the area.
KREYOL kicked-off the I AM KREYOL Bazaar events in March. The events focus on women’s history, featuring female artists from the local arts scene.
The upcoming event will feature artist Raheem Jamal Perkins, whose work will be displayed throughout the venue, where area fashion and art lovers can purchase artwork, clothing and jewelry from vendors.
Vendors include Vanessa Lundi’s online brand Vana Vain Vintage, custom jewelry maker Jewelry by V-Anne and Kele Arts Designs.
During the event, attendees have the opportunity to get a free HIV test and receive results the same day, Jean-Fontaine said.
“In talking with [the ABCD] director one thing we really talked about was making it attractive again to talk about HIV/AIDS because we’re not talking about it anymore,” Jean-Fontaine said.
Local performers will pay tribute to Nigerian human rights activist and musical icon Fela Kuti, who died from AIDS in 1997.
Jean-Fontaine, who relocated to New York to get KREYOL up and running, created the seasonal marketplace art show to help local artists promote and sell their work.
“I have a lot of friends who are artists who are great entrepreneurs and are not really selling their items in Boston,” Jean-Fontaine said. “They don’t necessarily have an outlet so I wanted to make the type of event where it was fun to come to like a party, but it was also a market where you knew you could support other artists in the area and that it wasn’t just about being a party or having fun.”
Jean-Fontaine and her mother, Yolette Fontaine, launched KREYOL in 2005.
Since then, it has grown from a clothing line to a company providing styling services to magazines and musical artists.
Last year, Jean-Fontaine and her mother revamped the clothing portion of the business. They previewed a new line of clothing during Boston Fashion Week last week. The new line will be released in 2014.