Theme: The Future of Culture


At Lighting Society we believe that art can be healing and celebration can bridge worlds. This year’s theme of Convergence celebrates this dream: Inclusion is the future of culture. Our community of bright minds hails from dozens of countries, and represents more professions, identities and orientations than we can imagine. Once you become part of this community, you find yourself part of a network of beautiful souls composed of a vast constellation of perspectives. We love and appreciate this about our city, and our friends. We’re more than a melting pot, we’re a treasure chest of jewels. For Fall’s Burlesquerade, our goal isn’t to host a costume party, but to create a celebration of each other’s authentic self expression. 


In this challenging and frightening age of media bubbles and walls, we are bombarded with messages of an inevitable dystopian future. Let’s respond collectively by creating the possibility of a beautiful and collaborative future where cultures can mingle, exchange ideas, learn from each other. Each of us is valuable in our own way, but collectively we are stunning in our richness and diversity.  Recognizing that fashion can be an entry point for both connection and culture, what has touched you, inspired you, or nourished your soul? What makes you feel beautiful, powerful and fully expressed? What is the most aspiration version of that? Show us the stories within you and collectively we’ll celebrate them!

We are asking you to wear fashion that represents the beautiful moments of connection you’ve made here and in your travels around the world. Think of bright, bold, celebratory patterns that have a deeper meaning, embellishments and accessories handmade with love, and fashion that has had a positive impact on a community somewhere in the world. The best global fashion is something that is part of your story — that you bought straight from the artisan, or that was gifted to you as a token of friendship. But if you don’t yet own an amazing artisan-made piece of fashion — or want to add to your collection — we’ve got you. We put the call out to the community asking for fantastic artisan-made fashion, and you delivered! Below is a list of places to get authentic, ethical, and/or sustainable colorful fashion to wear to Burlesquerade: Convergence.


For additional inspiration check out our mood board.

To submit other designers, fill in this form.

ACONAV is a respectful representation of the Acoma Pueblo whose traditions and world-renown pottery art culture are reflected in unique luxury designs.

The 35 women artisans who design and produce ALAMA's one-of-a-kind jewelry pieces are members of the Maasai tribe of the upland steppes of Tanzania. 

The Art Rising was founded in 2015 by Angeline Chen and Kyle Block. It is a project to create bridges across cultures, explore our collective consciousness and give back to the world. They begin by traveling to a region in the World, search for indigenous artists to support and collaborate with, learn about the social, economic and environmental circumstances in that region and explore the question, “how can we give back?”

B.YELLOWTAIL is a Native American owned fashion and accessories brand that specializes in storytelling through wearable art. The clothing is designed by Northern Cheyenne/Crow fashion designer Bethany Yellowtail, while the accessories are 100% handmade by a collective of Native American artisans who hail from Tribal Nations throughout North America.

CARAVANA’s pieces and accessories are handmade in Mexico by artisans honoring traditional techniques. From the treatment of the feathers by shamans, to the lines that follow ancient geometry, symbols and rituals, CARAVANA passionately honors the Mayans' ageless knowledge and wisdom whilst preserving its antique handcrafting techniques, using natural fabrics and soft leather that develops its own unique patina over time. 

Alano is a Native American Tahltan multimedia artist and entrepreneur based in West Vancouver, British Columbia, and owner of the Edzerza Gallery. He screenprints his art onto sustainable, made-to-order fashion for men and women. (Please allow two weeks for ordering.) 

This zero-waste brand based in Portugal upcycles African prints into colorful kimonos. 

A Singapore-based artisan label that employs skilled Indian artisans in making their men’s and women’s apparel. They ship worldwide. 

Founded by a woman of color in New York, Nia Thomas’ collections bring into fruition wearable art that is made with recycled or reclaimed materials that have been extracted and reconditioned for a new use. All colors are achieved with 100% organic plant-based dyes and rain water. Her latest collection, called MAROC, was inspired by her travels through Morocco, where she sourced fabrics made by Berber artisans using age-old techniques that are rooted in regionally specific traditions. 

Onchek is a retailer selling men’s and women’s designer brands from Africa. 

Rasa is a Lithuanian painter turned beadwork artist who handcrafts fantastical headwear and accessories that marry Art Nouveau design with a free spirited modern sensibility. 

Based in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, this brand handpaints fantastical evening wear with meaningful motifs. Contact via their Facebook page to purchase. 

Symbology merges artisanal fabric techniques with fashion-forward designs. The U.S.-based team custom designs fabrics and garment styles that flatter all body shapes, and offer inclusive sizing. Each collection showcases a series of motifs and symbols that are imbued with meaning, reflecting the deep heritage behind the piece, and is handcrafted by fairly-paid women artisans in developing countries using traditional fabric techniques like block printing, tie-dye and embroidery. 

Based in Dakar, Senegal, Tongoro is a 100% Made in Africa label that sources material on the African continent and works with local tailors. Its long-term goal is to create a new dynamic for Africa-based manufacturing and foster the economic and social development of artisanal workers in Western Africa.

VOZ is a B Corporation-certified ethical fashion company whose mission is to protect the livelihoods, well-being, and cultural values of rural indigenous women globally. They pay living wages for every textile and sewn garment, and use sustainable fibers and processes.

Founded by an Indian designer Saloni Shrestha, AGAATI uses sustainable fabrics and works with fairly paid artisans in India to create richly decorated limited-edition dresses. The brand gives back 5% of its profits to NGOs which support women empowerment and create employment for artisans around the world.

A Peace Treaty sees itself as champions for slow fashion and preservationists of centuries-old techniques. They’ve worked with artisan groups across ten countries to produce custom handmade pieces that embrace rich color and print, are lively and bold, soft and luxurious. 

Based out of North Dakota, Beyond Buckskin is dedicated to advancing creative small businesses located throughout rural and urban communities by providing an online store where customers can connect with Native American fashion designers and jewelry artists. The platform works with 40 individual artists and small businesses who all advance traditional Indigenous artistic practices by bringing ancient designs, natural materials, and cultural stories to modern fashion.

This shop works with Brazilian Carnival designers to source authentic, handmade Brazilian Carnival and Samba costumes. (Be sure to choose the Ready to Ship tab, as costumes take up to 40 days to create!)

Created by Chioma and Uchenna Ngwudo in New York City, CeeCee’s Closet celebrates the beauty of West African prints through unique accessories and apparel, which are handmade by artisans in Nigeria.

This Colombian brand rescues artisan techniques like macrame and hand-dyeing, mixing them with art and bringing them in a sophisticated way to the universe of beachwear. 

Founded by Ethiopian model Liya Kebede, lemlem employs Ethiopian artisans in making traditional woven textiles, turning them into modern resortwear. 

Founded by an Italian aid worker, Mayamiko works to create opportunities for disadvantaged artisans and tailors in Mali, with a focus on women empowerment, by providing the right skills and opportunities to create a better life for themselves through fair trade. Their atelier is solar powered, and their designs are zero-waste. 

Founded by our friend, Azerbaijani-American Saida Muradova,  these expertly designed and meticulously crafted pieces are unique, handmade, and modular, allowing for endless personalization. Object & Dawn operates as an atelier in Los Angeles, sourcing from communities around the world using traditional techniques coupled with the quality intrinsic to a high fashion brand.

Founded by our friend, Indonesian-American Suzanne Stephenson, Ornate Reverie accessories use real leather, faux leather, and Indonesian ikat created exclusively by an artisan community from East Nusa Tenggara islands in the east of Indonesia. Ornate Reverie will donate 25% of its proceeds to Rote Foundation, an organization supporting local community development and education in Rote island, East Nusa Tenggara, Indonesia. 

Roopa Pemmaraju’s vision is to respect artisans and artists. Each piece is designed in collaboration with skilled craftspeople and centers on beautiful silhouettes, traditional and natural fabrics, and hand-done embellishments. All manufacturing processes, including hand-embroidery, take place under one roof in Bangalore, India, but Roopa will also customize any design for your specific needs and measurement. Also contact the brand for traditional handmade Indian formalwear. 

Studio One Eighty Nine, co-founded by Rosario Dawson and Abrima Erwiah, is an artisan-produced fashion lifestyle brand and social enterprise that works with artisanal communities that specialize in various traditional craftsmanship techniques including natural plant-based dye indigo, hand-batik, kente weaving and more. Studio 189 focuses on empowerment, creating jobs and supporting education and skills training and partners with organizations such as the United Nations ITC Ethical Fashion Initiative. 

Tammy Beauvais is a Native American/Aboriginal/Autochtone fashion design company producing contemporary native made clothing carrying all Native Symbolism. Tammy's goal is to increase worldwide awareness of native aboriginal heritage and to also create more employment opportunities for members of her community. 

Founded by former UN employee, Colombia native and Budapest resident Alejandra Ospinal, TRIB-ECO sells products created by fair trade, sustainable, independent designers and artisans from Latin America who seek to protect ancestral knowledge of Latin American communities while offering unique pieces with the best quality at a fair price.

Kelly Wang Shanahan founded The Ziran in 2016 after she discovered the ancient Chinese silk dyeing technique of xiang yun sha, which is completely eco-friendly. The fabric is cut and sewn into her creations in Los Angeles, making The Ziran the only company to use xiang yun sha silk in the U.S. 

© 2019 Burlesquerade

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