motherSon by SeeMe

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HOW THE WOMEN OF SEEME GAVE BIRTH TO A CONCEPT FOR MEN


SeeMe is endeavoring to pioneer a world of Fair Luxury, of beau:ful jewelry with a soul. SeeMe is a fair trade brand producing precious metal necklaces and bracelets as well as accessories, all handmade by Tunisian women who have been vic:ms of violence. By working with SeeMe these women are now independent, empowered and free. Caterina Occhio, Founder and CEO of SeeMe, is a former development aid manager with over 15 years experience in suppor:ng employment and ins:tu:onal reform. She worked extensively for the European Commission, different UN agencies and from 2002, she specialized in the socio-­‐economic integra:on of women. In 2007, Occhio became the secretary-­‐general of the SEED Founda:on leading two projects suppor:ng socio-­‐economic inser:on of disadvantaged women in Turkey. Both endeavors were elected as best prac:ce by the Dutch Minister of Foreign Affairs. In 2008 she was leader of the team charged with improving the effec:veness of external aid within the European Commission. In 2010 she was EU Policy Advisor for social inclusion for the new employment strategy in Tunisia.


The SeeMe #heartmovement was launched at PiV 85 in January 2014. Several fashion professionals and fashion icons became our tes:monial and have already been portrayed with our heart: from Suzy Menkes to Angela and Rosita Missoni, Andrea Panconesi of Luisa via Roma, to Antonella di Pietro, the Crea:ve Directors of Karl Lagerfeld, CEO of PiV Raffaello Napoleone, Armand Hadida from L'eclaireur, Mario dell’Oglio and Beppe Angiolini, actual and former Presidents of Italian Chamber of Buyers, Roberta Valen:ni from Penelope, Diane Pernetand Bruna Casella di Etre. The hearts are at the core of all our collec:ons. They are links of the love chain we build to replace the chain of violence. Each of them is uniquely handcraaed in Tunisia by women trained as ar:sans coming for the shelter home run by the Amal associa:on. Our girls are supported by two master ar:sans and an experienced manager.


Extending the concept into a range for men was a natural evolu:on for SeeMe, as the issue at the center of the organiza:on's proposi:on relates directly to the rela:onship between the genders. To help realize the men’s range, Occhio approached designer and mul:-­‐crea:ve, Liam Maher. In addi:on to his primary role as Design Director for Denham in Amsterdam, Maher is also known for collabora:ve art-­‐based projects which explore menswear tradi:on and masculine iden:ty.

“Since mee)ng in Florence during a project with Art Comes First, Caterina and I talked at length about her ambi)ons for SeeMe. Her essen)al concept immediately took hold my imagina)on,”, recounts Maher. “the tragic irony and potent metaphor for me related to the core rela)onship between women and men". Inspired partly by Shakespeare’s line from Macbeth; ’no man of woman-­‐born’ and the indelible truth that symbolically all men are sons and all women are, at least poten:ally, mothers, -­‐Maher con:nues; “when magnified through this lens, already reprehensible acts of violence perpetrated by men against women are revealed as that much more unnatural and corrupt.’


This perspec:ve led to development of the new men's concept; motherSon. To preserve SeeMe’s crea:ve ethos, Maher started with the original heart design and rolled its ends into a double-­‐spiral. The resul:ng insignia is a transmuted infinity-­‐sign evoking hope that seemingly infinite spirals of domes:c violence can be reversed. The insignia also represents an ampersand hin:ng at the poten:al rejoining of spirits as well as the leeer S; the last leeer in mothers and first leeer in sons. The motherSon emblem is craaed by hand by the same jewelry ar:sans in Tunisia and Turkey who create the original SeeMe hearts for women.


The motherSon concept launched at PiV Uomo with a range of ini:al prototypes consis:ng of simple leather and braided wrist-­‐cuffs. Examples were fashioned from premium natural vacheeas, tumbled and waxed full-­‐grains as well as specialty skins reclaimed from the boeom of the North Sea and repurposed “reject” hides in dark naturalis:c tones and finishes. Each was hand-­‐dipped in liquid rubber and the dis:nct precious metal motherSon insignia was individually hand-­‐s:tched on each. This inaugural presenta:on was accompanied by special object d’art created for the launch

OBJECT D’ART motherSon bespoke bag by Alexander Fielden motherSon tailor’s scissor by Tine Goedhart inspired by Art Comes First motherSon silver, brass and steel facial grill by Liam Maher watercolor by Maea


Photography by Melody Lieaink


motherSon was also selected to par:cipate in PiV’s innova:ve Alterna.ve Set program where a short film developed expressly for the launch by Maher in collabora:on with David Schagerstrom was premiered alongside an informal exhibi:on of special portraits by Melody Lieaink.



motherSon silver, brass and steel facial grill by Liam Maher

Photography by Melody Lieaink



Photography by Melody Lieaink


motherSon tailor’s scissor by Tine Goedhart inspired by Art Comes First


seeme.org for more informa.on