Papillon artisans were recently featured in the following article on Vogue.com
It was the first time Glemaud had been back in 15 years—as he grew up, his trips became less and less frequent—and it was both an inspiring and humbling moment, especially given the human tragedy and ravaged landscape of the 2010 earthquake. “I went into the trip without any expectations,” he says. “What I was expecting from the media, and all the perceptions around the world about Haiti, were nonexistent. I saw the same vibrancy, the same resilience I remember from growing up. I saw people going to work in the morning, kids going to school in the same uniform I used to wear. Of course, I was staying in a nice hotel, with Wi-Fi, electricity, and I could have many of the same conveniences of America, but still; I was expecting devastation and I didn’t see that.”
Instead, what he experienced—and who he met—were women actively engaged in their design work: leatherwork by Pascale Theard Atelier, straw designs from Paula Coles, beading by a collective called Papillon, which draws on the skills of 300 local artisans. “I was blown away by what I saw,” Glemaud says. “Without a lot of resources, they’re doing something organic that looked new to my eyes.” New enough for him to be thinking of all sorts of ways he can collaborate with them, bringing their craft together with his for his label Victor Glemaud. He’s asking Pascale Theard about doing some shoes, enlisting friend and milliner Gigi Burris to utilize Paula Coles’s straw for hats, and integrating Papillon’s beads into his macramé skirts. In its own way, all these collaborations will speak confidently to the notion that in going back one can give back, while also celebrating the dignity and talent of the people Glemaud is teaming up with.
If it all comes to pass, Glemaud says it will make for a more “experiential” presentation, and he’s right. And it’ll be a hugely emotional one, too. While he was in Haiti, he was so busy he barely had time to process his feelings, but his return to New York allowed him the time to do just that. “I was coming back just as what was meant to be the last snowstorm of the season hit,” he says, “and the impact of what I’d just been through on my trip finally hit me. My mom said to me, ‘Your father’—my Dad passed away six years ago— ‘would be so proud of you, to go back that way.’ I returned to Haiti as an example of what an immigrant can achieve in the United States, and what I do in June will be the beginning of the culmination of that.”