Style With A Cause: Lidia May

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Founded in 2015 in Dhaka, Bangladesh, Lidia May is a company built to do good. Leading the region’s maker’s movement, the Lidia May team takes a hands-on approach, cultivating craftsmanship from concept to completion. Embracing traditional European leather craftsmanship, Lidia May uses only the highest-quality leathers to ensure a foundation of enduring luxury in our designs. Our skilled artisans elevate our classic handbag silhouettes with accents of traditional South Asian hand embroidery and needlework, preserving the tradition of royal embroidery for future generations.

Lidia May embodies the dual visions of stylized luxury and social enterprise. The Lidia May team works hand-in-hand with the Lidia Hope Centre, a non-profit organization working to support over 400 families in the urban slums of Dhaka, Bangladesh. Through the Centre’s Embroidery Artisan Training (EAT) program designed by Lidia May, underprivileged women are trained as embroidery professionals, giving them the tools to ensure a flexible, sustainable, and dignified source of income generation.

Founders

May Yang and Rasheed Khan co-founded the Dhaka-based collection Lidia May in 2015 as a mission-driven fashion brand creating luxury goods and pillars of social change. Both are widely travelled global citizens whose friendship grew out of a shared passion for design, art, culture and craftsmanship and the strong desire to make a positive impact on the world.

May Yang had lived in New York and Hong Kong before arriving in Bangladesh, originally to spend a year working in humanitarian aid. Yang's design aesthetic references the strength and creativity of women in the cultures she has experienced along with a deep appreciation for artisanal crafted goods. Rasheed Khan comes from a family tradition of philanthropy and service to accompany his personal 30 year career in corporate finance and entrepreneurship. Khan brings a unique perspective on the manufacturing industry in Dhaka along with a focus on social impact and enterprise.

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Style With A Cause highlights designers that support a cause such as sustainability, charities, and fair trade, to name a few.

Interview By Alison Hernon, Editor-In-Chief, PhotoBook Magazine.