Roots Studios Brooklyn – Fashion & Art Collection Preview Night

Brooklyn-based art and lifestyle platform Guilty By Association hosted a sneak peek of Rurban by Roots Studio, a collection of contemporary streetwear co-created with Indigenous artists from around the world.

For almost a decade, the social enterprise Roots Studio has worked with Indigenous artist collectives in Asia, the Middle East, and Latin America to digitize their cultural works for use in innovative ways. By building bridges between artists and the global fashion market, Roots Studio has an established track record of amplifying
Indigenous voices, preserving endangered creativity, and facilitating economic sustainability through art – building partnerships with notable brands such as Patagonia, Cartier Women’s Initiative, and Chanel Foundation and collaborating with over 31 Indigenous communities globally.

Their ethical approach has been described as “the antidote to cultural appropriation” by The Business of Fashion, and also featured in Vogue Business, i-D Magazine, Cultured, and many others.

Roots Studio Founder Rebecca Hui, a new member of the Explorers Club Class of 50, brings cultural preservation to the 21st century. The studio digitizes the art of the world’s rural communities, allowing their designs to be licensed through Roots Studio’s online library. Royalties average five times the original selling price. So far, Roots Studio has digitized more than 3,000 designs, like Warli paintings from India and Kufic calligraphy from Syria.

In addition, Roots Studio creates economic incentives for artists while valuing their heritage to be able to provide for their families without taking on any physical or financial risks by leaving their home villages – 90 percent of Roots Studio artists are also majority smallholding farmers.

In doing so, Roots Studio promotes the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals through the work done with these communities by providing equal opportunities to artists in rural areas.

Rebecca tells NYC VIBE that Roots Studio will launch a series of three urban collections in the second half of 2023 with Guilty by Association – A 20% royalty net profits goes directly to the Indigenous artists and
community funds in their villages. Later this year, an anticipated drop mashups with iconic NYC labels 3.1
Phillip Lim, NOAH, and Triple Five Soul will take place.

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