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Elegantees: Making Modest Fashion as Elegant as Can Be

Who says that fashion has to be revealing? Elegantees is helping women understand that modesty can be the most sexy and confident style of all. Since 2010, Elegantees has flourished into a fashion label, designing and creating modestly cut shirts for women wanting to highlight their natural beauty and heart, not their figures. All sewn by the hands of human trafficking survivors, these specially designed tees are a double threat, offering hope for rescued women and stylish elegance to consumers.

Katie Martinez, founder and designer of Elegantees, had a very difficult time finding herself and her sense of style in her younger years.

“I had the hardest time shopping for modest yet trendy clothes, so I decided to start designing the styles I wanted to wear myself. I believe modesty is most attractive and allows others to see the beauty of your heart more. When I was younger I didn’t think this, so I showed off my body a lot. I was completely taken advantage of, but didn’t see it because of the attention I got. The attention didn’t fulfill me, so I changed my style and changed things inside of me and I was then valued for beauty, not sexuality,” Martinez revealed.

After attending fashion school, Martinez’s values and new sense of style carried over into her designs for other women who felt the same about modest fashion.

“I encourage young women to protect themselves with modesty and, as a fashion designer, it’s my honor to create modest clothing that is actually stylish,” Martinez said.

While studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Martinez learned about the horrors of human trafficking in a class. Martinez felt so much pain for these girls and wanted to transform her heartache into something that aided them.

Martinez started the company with a dream to give these rescued women sewing jobs. After launching her small brand with $10,000 and only a few connections to New York factories, her vision seemed a long way off.

Not long after launching her brand, Elegantees gained much attention through word of mouth and Martinez eventually met a man working with the Nepali Rescue Project, a non-profit rescuing over 20,000 lives per year from Nepal-based trafficking. He wanted to give his survivors sewing jobs and had already been training some. The brand quickly partnered with the Nepali Project and ever since, every single tee has been sewn by a survivor. Elegantees was finally doing what Martinez intended: restoring the lives of human trafficking survivors by offering them employment and hope.

While studying at the Fashion Institute of Technology in New York City, Martinez learned about the horrors of human trafficking in a class. Martinez felt so much pain for these girls and wanted to transform her heartache into something that aided them.

Martinez started the company with a dream to give these rescued women sewing jobs. After launching her small brand with $10,000 and only a few connections to New York factories, her vision seemed a long way off.

Not long after launching her brand, Elegantees gained much attention through word of mouth and Martinez eventually met a man working with the Nepali Rescue Project, a non-profit rescuing over 20,000 lives per year from Nepal-based trafficking. He wanted to give his survivors sewing jobs and had already been training some. The brand quickly partnered with the Nepali Project and ever since, every single tee has been sewn by a survivor. Elegantees was finally doing what Martinez intended: restoring the lives of human trafficking survivors by offering them employment and hope.

Martinez’s husband also has a flair for style and helps to come up with new ideas. The power pair envisions and creates a line that trendy, modest women crave.

The long-sleeved and short-sleeved tees with feminine ruffles, billowing sleeves, and simple rhinestone embellishments can be worn for any occasion and be dressed up or down. Elegantees’ photo shoots showcase a healthy mix of beautiful females, both models and everyday women, in formal and casual styles.

“I do all the patternmaking […] sewing the samples, trying on the samples and making adjustments to the fit and style. All of the sample-making happens in the kitchen and living room of our junior one-bedroom studio. It’s not always efficient to work in a small space, but it’s a dream come true to be a fashion designer in New York. One minute the sofa has fabric and pattern folders on it, and the next my husband and I will be on it to watch a movie on Netflix […] Sometimes we’ll have dinner with the sewing machines four inches from the salad bowl,” laughed Martinez.

Elegantees’ future goal is to make full use of their profits by donating all of their dividends to organizations fighting to rescue those trapped in slavery. As of now, Martinez and her team are continuing to expand the brand by giving more sewing jobs to those rescued in Nepal and by creating new collections in 2013. In the works is a dress collection for Spring/Summer 2013, a skirt collection next Fall and a sister company for men designed by her husband.

“We are also working with a local charity to give rescued women in NYC the chance to earn a living through sewing our lowest priced items locally […] Also, we are setting a goal to have Elegantees carried in fifty boutiques by the end of this year. I love the idea of supporting small businesses and being able to produce more units, which means we can give the rescued women more work,” said Martinez.

Through Martinez’s journey of self-discovery, she has created a specially designed label for smart and stylish women. Martinez strongly believes that women can make an impression with their heart, not with revealing apparel. The brand is changing the way that women approach fashion with modest and modern apparel and, most importantly, breaking the human trafficking cycle one elegant tee at a time.

To shop and to learn more about Elegantees, visit the Facebook page and www.Elegantees.com.

Tagged in: lux exclusives, causes, nonprofit, fashion, organization, shirts, tees, modest fashion, elegantees, the nepali rescue project,

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LadyLUX via Elegantees

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