Even if you’ve never been to Haiti, you’ve probably seen Haitian art and craft. That’s because the island’s signature paintings (depicting multitudes of colorful stick-like figures crammed onto canvases) and creative pierced-tin and metalwork craft are sold throughout the Caribbean.
But if you visit the island, you’ll be exposed to a much wider array of Haitian art, including that of designer Pascale Théard, who we caught up with at her chic Port-au-Prince atelier. Here, surrounded by a kaleidoscope of butter-soft leather tote bags, hand-beaded belts, shoes, and other leather accessories, she told us about her unlikely journey from the world of finance to fashion.
Art was the Start
“I’ve been surrounded by art since I was a child; my uncles were painters and I remember there were little artisans shops everywhere. But when I came back to Haiti from university in Paris I noticed that they’d all but disappeared. Up until that point I’d never considered doing anything artistic. I’d just finished my master’s degree in finance and graduated head of my class. But during my Paris internship I somehow ended up doing the artwork for the cover of the company’s annual report. It was very well received, and my boss, who noticed how much more passion I had for art than for numbers, took me aside and said, ‘Pascale, you must do what you love.’ It was the first time anyone had given….
Photo: Pascale Théard