Leighelena + Project Paz: Promoting Peace through Bracelets

576 446 Lauren Kennedy

Leighelena buckle cuffs and licorice belts constructed from a variety of exotic candy colored skins have graced the pages of glossies and arms of celebs since designer Leigh Navarro launched her line in 2005.

Now in an effort to bring peace to war torn regions of Juarez, Mexico near her hometown of El Paso, Texas, Leigh is stamping her signature “mink” lizard skin buckle bracelets with the Project Paz logo. 100% of the proceeds from each “Leighelena for Project Paz” sale will be given to the New York based organization in an effort to help carry out their goal of promoting peace in Ciudad, Juarez.

A Word on Project Paz

Project Paz is a non-for profit organization, and their mission is to raise awareness about the unprecedented crime levels in Ciudad Juárez. The city borders the U.S and it’s economy and the innocent people who live there suffer greatly every day – 80,000 young people in the city neither study nor work, 30% of the businesses have closed, and 100,000 jobs have been lost. Ciudad Juárez is actually the most violent city IN THE WORLD (outside of declared war zones) and most people have no idea what’s going on there. Project Paz raises awareness about the city’s situation and funds projects that strengthen community bonds and promote peace.

Chatting with Leigh

Your collection launched in 2005, and now six years later, your jewelry is sold in over one hundred stores internationally. What is your reaction to this astounding degree of success?

I am incredibly grateful and proud of my team’s hard work.  We have two retail storefronts here in Austin and now sell to nearly 700 stores across the world! (visit her awesome collection here).

Your website credits your mother and grandfather for lending inspiration to the Leighelena line. What else inspires your work?

Aside from my family, I draw inspiration from fashion, vintage in particular.  I love organic forms and nature.  When I am deciding to make a new piece, it is usually because I want something new to wear.

A little bird told us here at LOLO that you play base in an Austin band. What’s the name of the band and when can we see you play?

Ha!  That Megan.  I am only LEARNING to play.  When things develop I will let you know!!

Fans of Leighelena want to know – what’s next for the line?

We hope to open another store down the road, and I will be expanding on the Crowns jewelry system.

What lead you to partner with Project Paz?

As an El Paso native, I feel a strong sense of community with our sister city Ciudad Juarez.  I hope to help create awareness about the problems that are happening across the border by partnering with Project Paz.

Do you have any words of encouragement/motivation for LOLO readers wanting to give back to their communities?

Anything helps!  If you can’t contribute monetarily, time is as if not more helpful in many cases. GET INVOLVED here.

Tweet Tweet: Follow Project Paz and Leighelena to keep up with their efforts!

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