Threads for threads
By: Benjamin MacDonald, Photography courtesy of FIGS
FIGS (Fashion-Inspired Global Sophistication) is the brainchild of Heather Hasson, a social entrepreneur who has combined her love for fashion with her passion for helping others. Hand-tailored British wool and Italian silk ties are her link to helping educate children globally. With every tie purchased, FIGS provides a school uniform to a child in the developing world. Using the concept of “Buy One Give One”, Hasson is set on a mission of educating children globally. She took a few moments out of her busy schedule to chat with ELLE about her mission.
Above: Heather Hasson in Kenya
1. How did your FIGS journey begin? The idea spawned when I was traveling around Africa, visiting tribes, when Nairobi was in the middle of their riots. I was a bit taken back by how many children were not attending school, and the level of extreme poverty. I noticed the children who did attend school wore uniforms, which included a tie. I thought how proper, being educated in a straw hut, and yet wear a tie. A universal symbol of sophistication. And FIGS! Was born. Fashion Inspired Global Sophistication. A two fold idea. Offer awesome ties to the western world, while simultaneously provide uniforms to children in need in order to help them on their educational path-hence threads for threads. You buy, we give.
2. Explain the process of making a FIGS tie? In short, the making of a FIGS tie includes: importing fabrics from all over the world. Italy, lago de como, Britain, Ireland, Northern Ireland, Australia..and so forth. We work with a pretty wide range of mills from various countries. We employ tailors in Los Angeles, but will soon branch out to New York, and Chicago. It is important to have high quality product and keep the prices tangible. Every tie is hand stitched, with a red bar tack as our signature.
3. Why did you decide on producing men’s ties? Do you have plans to branch out and produce items for women? Men’s ties came to mind when I realized the effect the tie has on a man. A tie exudes power and confidence. It is the one accessory that announces one’s taste and style to the world. It is a personal experience for an audience to see. No one should lack a tie.
In regards to Women; you will just have to see…but I think you will be pleasantly surprised for what I have in store for women. Think classic, think eccentric.
4. Are your items only available on-line? If so, why did you decide not to sell retail? FIGS ties are available on-line for the moment. We will be stepping into the realms of boutiques and department stores shortly. Currently, we do corporate gifting (in style), weddings and plan to partner up with corporations and universities for a stronger call to action.
5. Do you have any plans for other philanthropy projects? Threads for Threads; uniform giving is the number one focus. Over 120 million children in the developing world do not have uniforms hence no education. Education equals freedom, equals sophistication, equals opportunities equals a better society at large. Having said that, we are open to new projects and partnerships where there is synergy. Let’s rock and roll!