The Green Room at Designers & Agents was covered with gorgeous designs, but our eyes kept returning to Wayuu Taya’s brilliantly hued and boldly patterned bags. Not only are the bags eye-catching, but the story behind them is equally entrancing. Venezuelan model and actress Patricia Velasquez founded the Wayuu Taya Foundation in 2002 to improve the lives of the Wayuu, an indigenous group of over 450,000 people in Colombia and Venezuela, while providing an outlet for artistic expression. Each bag, known as a “susu,” is one of a kind, taking 20 eight-hour days to create. All that work has its payoff, however: 90 percent of the proceeds goes back to the community.

+ Wayuu Taya