Haitian-American fashion designer Dayanne Danier was at the end of a 10-day trip to rural Central Haiti in late January checking on the production of her latest creations when one of the seamstresses turned to her as she prepared to leave.
“Don’t forget to send the fabric,” Danier, 43, recalled the woman saying. “Don’t take too long.”
Danier had been going back and forth between New York and Haiti since the country’s monstrous 2010 earthquake. She had watched as interest in Haiti’s handmade arts and crafts piqued soon after the disaster with well-known American designers buying and selling Haiti-made designs, only to quickly wane. She understood the meaning behind the woman’s plea.
“She was basically saying, ‘If you don’t send the fabric, we are going to have to go home,’” she recounted. “’Do whatever you’ve got to do for us to be consistently working.’“