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Nicole Miller Partners With Rwandan Artisans

Designer led a series of workshops on design, sewing techniques and business management at her studio.

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RWANDAN ARTISANS MEET NICOLE MILLER: Two Rwandan artisans, Therese Iribagiza and Emelienne Nyiramana, met with Nicole Miller at her studio on Monday and Tuesday for a series of workshops on design, sewing techniques and business management. Miller co-designs some of the collection’s offerings, and places orders for woven bracelets and totes, as well as shorts and short wrap skirts for sale at her SoHo boutique and at nicolemiller.com. Fifteen percent of the profits go to training programs in Rwanda. The collaboration is part of a project hosted by Indego Africa, a social enterprise that administers job-skills training to help women break the cycle of poverty in Africa. The two women are part of the group called Cocoki, a sewing cooperative, and have attended the Goldman Sachs 10,000 Women Entrepreneurship Program at Rwanda’s School of Finance & Banking. Miller said she first heard about the program through a manager in her SoHo store. She recently returned from a five-day visit in which she suggested how they can upgrade their infrastructure, one where foot-pedal sewing machines and coal irons are the factory’s norm.

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