Project IMA Designer Highlight: Elizabeth Romney

By: Adrian Kendrick

Elizabeth Romney, designer of Liz Alig, a fair trade fashion line is thrilled to present her dynamic garment on October 11 at the Indianapolis Museum of Art during the Project IMA fashion show.

Project IMA is a unique runway fashion show featuring an eclectic mix of one-of-kind designs by local and national artists and fashion designers. Romney is no stranger to the showcase. She participated two years ago as well. This year selected participants will present exciting, avant-garde work inspired by clothing on view in the IMA exhibition, An American Legacy: Norell, Blass, Halston and Sprouse.

Romney definitely falls under the category of diverse and unique. She upcycles garments and gives them new life by reconstructing them and making a completely new and trendy garment.

“Each collection is made from 100 percent recycled materials,” said Romney. “This means that the fabric for our garments was previously anything from t-shirts to vintage dresses. It’s fair trade fashion that seeks to create innovative fashion forward collections, while at the same time choosing to promote the economic growth and education of women in developing countries.”

Liz Alig takes fair trade fashion to another level by helping people. The collection benefits low-income communities both in less-industrialized countries and in the United States. Ten percent of sales are donated to support the training of women and children in Majority World.

Because fair trade relies on a network of producers and consumers, Romney doesn’t do it alone. She partners with organizations like Mi Esperanza, located in Tegucigalpa, Honduras, which supports low-income women with a fair pay and training them with employable skills. Another partner is Friends X Change of Belle-Rivière, Haiti, which operates under the umbrella of the charity Friends of Belle-Rivière, Inc. A third is Global Mamas, located in Ghana, where women are supported through business ventures toward the greater vision of African women’s economic independence.

Her most recent collaboration is with an organization in Guatemala. The culture of Guatemala inspires her selection for the IMA showcase this week.

“My piece will be incorporating Guatemalan culture and the American 1950s style. Guatemala has a lot of Indian inspired fabrics, colors and tribal prints. I loved their gathered textiles and how ingrained the fabrics are there. It was interesting to see,” said Romney.

As a designer she wants people to be aware where their clothing comes from. Someone, somewhere sewed that garment she says.

Currently, the Liz Alig label is available in 20 states within 50 stores. In the future, Romney hopes to expand her collection nationwide.

To purchase your ticket to this year’s Project IMA showcase (this coming Thursday!), click HERE!

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