It’s not quite rags to riches, but No Nation Fashion has come a long way from its beginnings in Bosnia and Herzegovina in 2021, when it was launched as way for people in transit centres to improve their sewing skills.
Those involved graduated from creating reusable masks, providing protection against COVID-19, to designing unique items of clothing, and accessories. The sewing corners became fashion studios, and, by the end of the year, a No Nation Fashion show was held at Sarajevo City Hall, to mark International Migrants Day.
The beneficiaries of the project are migrants and members of the local and wider community, such as: local fashion brands and designers, artists, craftspeople, private sector, media, and volunteers.
This year, the initiative made it all the way to one of the most prestigious fashion events of the year, New York Fashion Week, for a special event involving No Nation Fashion, the International Fashion Academy, and students from Ohio’s Kent State University.
The No Nation Fashion collection was the product of the creative collaboration of migrants and the Bosnian fashion industry, under the creative direction of Aleksandra Lovrić, a renowned national designer.
The three outfits presented at the event, were designed to reflect the journey of migrants, from the earliest nomad way of life; to resilience and the ability to rebuild and adapt; and inclusion, through social and cultural integration at their destinations.
“We are very excited that No Nation Fashion brand made it all the way to New York – a city that is famous for art, fashion as well as cultural diversity,” said Laura Lungarotti, IOM Chief of Mission in Bosnia and Herzegovina. “This reminds us that migration and inclusion of diversity can produce beauty and opportunities for all.”
The Mission of No Nation Fashion is to build a brand and a social enterprise that promotes the inclusion of migrants in host communities, and actively participates in making societies more resilient, inclusive, and sustainable.
Following its New York success, the initiatives will continue to support migrants in Bosnia and Herzegovina, with talented individuals from different parts of the world sharing their knowledge, skills and culture to create wearable artworks.