UB Around the Globe: Fashion for a Cause
Fashion designer Stacy Stube, B.S. ’08, returned to her Bali, Indonesia, birthplace in April 2013 to pursue a dream. Equipped with her international business-focused degree from UB, a master’s in fashion entrepreneurship from the London College of Fashion and 13 years of industry experience, she founded the Elsa Fitzgerald clothing line there. Her brand currently focuses on eveningwear that merges European design with traditional Balinese handcraft lace techniques and relies upon a business model that may save an art form and raise Indonesian women out of poverty.
“Handcraft skills are dying out in Bali as a result of tourism,” says Stube, who works with local artisans to produce her hand-sewn fashions. “The younger women work in spas and minimarkets instead of learning these techniques. I’m bringing these women back to the village and preserving these skills while integrating them into my collections.”
Although she arrived with a deadline-driven Western mindset, Stube soon embraced Bali’s gentler pace. She spent time in local villages and says she marveled at the interactions among the people. “Whole families come together to prepare for their ceremonies, and they make art—all the decorations you see in the streets,” she says. “Then the women sit together and chat, and you don’t talk about business, you talk about life.”
In addition to her fashion work, Stube teaches English at a local orphanage and mentors Indonesian women. She also has plans to fund a community garden to teach sustainable agriculture and nutrition to local youth and to develop an art village where local artisans can gather and work.
“One person can change the world,” she says. “You just have to have love, a passion and an authenticity behind it.”
Have you traveled abroad recently and snapped a photo of yourself proudly sporting your UB gear? Send your photos to the UB Office of Alumni Relations via email or at 1130 N. Charles St., Baltimore, MD 21201. (And next time you head overseas, don’t forget to wear your UB apparel.)