Fashion boutique lends a hand to the less fortunate

Fashion boutique lends a hand to the less fortunate

100122_7d12a
Lauren Iida (left) and Rachel Faller have opened Circle, a new boutique in the Alley West area of Siem Reap.

Two young, tattooed American girls have opened the latest boutique, named Circle, in the increasingly fashionable Alley West area of Siem Reap. Rachel Faller, 23, and Lauren Iida, 25, joined forces in Phnom Penh and have expanded northward with Circle, which opened on Wednesday.

The boutique will sell clothing and accessories supplied by Rachel and Lauren’s separate Phnom Penh-based social enterprises. Keo K’jay, started by Rachel, provides jobs for HIV positive women, who manufacture handmade clothing and accessories from recycled and sustainable materials. Lauren’s project, called Iida, provides housing, literacy classes and a fair salary to disadvantaged, rural women for manufacturing clothing made from vintage fabric.

Rachel and Lauren – both art school graduates – design all of the fashion items that their enterprises produce, and almost all are one-of-a-kind. Rachel already has a shop in Phnom Penh called Keo K’jay that carries her products and some of Lauren’s.

The two women had already established their respective projects before they met in Phnom Penh. “We’d heard about each other because our projects were similar and one day I walked into her store,” said Lauren.

“This shop is going to have a different feeling though because our products are going to be married together,” said Rachel, who describes her style as more funky and urban, and Lauren’s as classic and feminine.

The young designer also feels that temple town is the perfect place to showcase their wares. “Siem Reap’s just got a really cool vibe for artists and designers, especially on this street,” Rachel said.

Circle will host an opening party tomorrow night from 7-10pm with free drinks, cupcakes and gifts.

MOST VIEWED

  • EU parliament’s 13-point vote to decide on possible sanctions

    The European Parliament is due to vote on Thursday on a 13-point resolution on Cambodia – which includes a call for the treason charges against bailed opposition leader Kem Sokha to be dropped – a threat that could see the EU enforce a range of sanctions against

  • Government hits back at threats to pull EBA, suspend UN seat

    The spokesman for the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) has said the government is in no way concerned after the European Parliament gave it three months to reverse what it called the “systematic repression of the political opposition”. Ignoring the ultimatum could mean facing

  • Sar Kheng: Sokha requested security

    Interior Minister Sar Kheng on Sunday revealed the story behind the transfer of former opposition party leader Kem Sokha from Trapaing Phlong prison in Tbong Khmum province to his house in the capital. Speaking at the ruling Cambodian People’s Party (CPP) headquarters in Prey

  • PM vows to ‘protect’ Chinese interests

    Prime Minister Hun Sen on Tuesday told Chinese companies investing in Cambodia not to worry about contract cancellation in the Kingdom. Speaking at a roundtable meeting with business executives in China as co-chair of the China-Asean Expo, the prime minister told six Chinese conglomerates with