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Weaving Solidarity: A Cloak for Unity

Espero Atelier dresses K-pop singer Miyavi in unity cloak at the 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony

K-pop singer Miyavi graced the stage in an Espero Atelier cloak at the 2023 UNHCR Nansen Refugee Award Ceremony. Appointed in November 2017 as a UNHCR goodwill ambassador the singer/ actor has since been active in areas regarding philanthropy.

The ceremony, which honors and celebrates activists for exceptional service to the cause of refugees, displaced, or stateless people, took place in Geneva on the opening night of the Global Refugee Forum (GRF) on December 13th.

The cloak, a patchwork of upcycled fabrics donated by luxury brand partners, symbolizes unity and the bringing together of people from all walks of life. It is an omen of diversity and the multifaceted nature of solidarity. A true example of the unity and harmony exhibited in the face of the trials and tribulations of the challenging times we find ourselves in as a global community. 

The piece is a collaboration by a group of designers from Bangladesh, Afghanistan, Somalia, and Ukraine. They found a new home and hope in France through working at Espero Atelier. The fashion house is a French-based non-profit organization founded in 2016 and dedicated to building pathways to jobs for refugees. It celebrates second chances both by working uniquely with upcycled luxury fabrics and by providing work opportunities to people who might have struggled or faced obstacles in the past. It has since offered training services in upcycling sewing, urban beekeeping, and market gardening. It is devoted to creating a more inclusive and responsible society, rekindling the relationship between man and nature, and providing opportunities for people who are struggling away from their homelands.

The UNHCR has launched a global solidarity movement as part of its Home Away from Home campaign. It calls for solidarity towards people seeking safety from war, violence, and persecution, no matter who they are or where they come from. The movement also urges world leaders to honor their moral and legal obligations towards people seeking safety, without discrimination. Over one million people have added their names to the movement since its launch.

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