Biographe is a premium apparel brand designed by the creative minds behind The Blind Project. Each and every piece in our line is printed by a woman who was once at risk, or exploited, in the commercial sex trade. We stand to strengthen the one-to-one connection between the consumer and the survivor. Printed inside each piece is the story of a survivor who had a hand in printing that actual item, through which we strive to empower you to share the journey of the women who made your garment.
We are planning to officially launch the Biographe brand this holiday season, when we will sell our garments in select boutique stores throughout New York City. In order to make that happen, we still need additional funding to continue to pay the women’s salaries, cover rent and utility costs, and purchase additional inventory for our official launch.
We have already set up our facility in Bangkok, trained our staff, and run a successful pilot program after bringing local New York artists into the mix. Now we turn to you to help push us over the edge and launch our brand by helping us reach our $30,000 goal!
Who are we?
The story of The Blind Project began with three New York City roommates and one book. After reading Gary Haugen's account on the rescue of young girls from Cambodian brothels in Haugen's book "Terrify No More," Anthony, Chad, and Liem decided to get off their proverbial couch and 'do something.'
They quit their jobs to travel through Southeast Asia and document the issue first-hand, in search of ways to combat the problem. What they found ultimately changed their lives. Women and girls as young as ten years old were locked in brothels with no hope and no future. They were - and still are - sold and resold as meaningless commodities, carelessly passed from one owner to the next. Often times, even after women are rescued, many fall back into the sex trade because of their limited resources, scarce economic opportunities and/or negative social stigmas.
So moved by what they saw, Anthony, Chad, and Liem returned to New York City determined to find a way to pool the unique talents of their friends and empower victims of the commercial sex trade. Since then, this collective of individuals has evolved into The Blind Project. Providing gainful employment to sex trade survivors is where our talents met her needs, and the idea for Biographe was born.
In striving to apply for-profit market strategies to a non-profit social purpose, Biographe is our answer. By training survivors in marketable job skills (screenprinting and design) while maintaining a supportive, open environment where their stories are shared and embraced, we aim to break the vicious cycle that continues to fuel the sex trade around the world. We employ our staff at our Bangkok facility, which we have dubbed the 'Biographe Lab.' All of the proceeds from our apparel line will be reinvested into our partner organizations in Asia that provide rescue and aftercare efforts for survivors of the sex trade.
Here in New York, our fashion designers have been developing custom-designed garments for the Biographe label, which will feature artwork created by select DACS (Designers Against Child Slavery) artists. This artwork will be silk-screened into our garments by survivors.
A $50 pledge will give you a choice to receive either the women's draped tank or the men's henley before we even sell them in stores.
Building a Brand With Artists
Be a Biographer + Episodes Exhibition
We are also excited to offer a selection of original artwork that have and continue to impact the designs that will be printed into our Biographe garments.
Artists submitted original designs during our 'Be A Biographer' design competition based upon one of three women's stories that we had posted online. Voting for this competition was crowdsourced online, where twenty designs below were voted in as the finalists. These prints were displayed in our Episodes Exhibition in downtown Manhattan last Fall.
With a $75 pledge you will receive a 10" x 10" print of your choice.
With a $250 pledge you will receive a 24" x 36" canvas print of one of the following designs displayed at the Episodes Exhibition by DACS artists. These artists are some of the very people who will be designing graphics for Biographe. This prize is VERY limited as we only have one print of each piece. (Please take a look at the Updates section to see which unique piece of artwork is left).
At the close of the 'Be a Biographer' competition, we used the three winning designs to build a pilot program in Bangkok, where we trained the Biographe Lab ladies how to silkscreen.
With a $100 pledge you will receive a 8" x 10" screen-pulled print of the winning design of your choice, framed and also signed by the women at the Biographe Lab.
When the ladies graduated to silkscreening designs onto stock shirts in Bangkok, we named our first-ever edition production run of tees 'Biographe Beta.' These tees from our original run are available for those who pledge $25 or more.
A pledge of $15 you will get you a special 'Thank You' handkerchief, hand silkscreened by the women at our Biographe Lab.
Our Biographe ID bracelets are made of a plaited, stainless steel metal chain with a clear, moulded plastic name plate. The clean slate of the name plate symbolizes the opportunity to start afresh for not only the women working in our Biographe lab, but all over the world. What would typically be a full circle of chain is interrupted by this clear space that breaks the vicious cycle which women in the sex trade have come to know as the norm. Likewise, we believe that each woman should be given the opportunity to be in control of her destiny.
With a pledge of $35 you will have the choice to receive one of the below.
We hope that you can join us in making the next chapter of our story a reality. Thank you so much for reading!
Biographe is a part of our parent organization The Blind Project, a 501(c)(3) non-profit. We are made up entirely of volunteers, taking no salary, which allows us to re-invest 100% of our proceeds back into the women we serve.