I was chatting in a New York coffee shop with an ace marketing team when one of them said casually, Don’t look now, but one of the most interesting women in the city just walked in. Beatrix Ost. Her hat is so amazing and large, it won’t even fit in the booth. I was charmed to turn later and see an elegant 80-something-year-old woman with a pale lavender Z tattooed on her forehead, and a kind, self-possessed face.
When we rose to leave, this wild, beautiful creature got up and came directly over to me, asking if the embroidered jacket I was wearing was not from Laos? Well, yes, it is, I replied, and let myself be corralled to her table, where her two friends from Article 22 began to explain their work in Laos, working to clean up bombs the US dropped during the Viet Nam war - 80 million of which have never detonated but randomly explode killing villagers and children - and how they asked Beatrix to design jewelry out of these bombs.
She turned her ear to me, sporting a birthstone in a classy hoop, and showed off her long fingers ringed in an off-beat sort of creation which I immediately craved.
President Obama, you may recall, recently visited Laos to shed light on this silent atrocity and put some muscle behind his words to clean it up. But Elizabeth Suda of Article 22 is going a step further - not just dismantling bombs, but turning them into beauty. What could be more eloquent? Before the week was out, they had both enthusiastically accepted my invitation to debut Beatrix's line of jewelry for Article 22 at ibu. A happy, spontaneous collision of worlds. Magic.
Next Wednesday, December 7, ibu will host Article 22, along with Beatrix Ost, designer, philosopher, artist, poet, and one of Vogue’s 8 Best Dressed Octogenarians. Hear her speak, sign her beautifully creative book, and shop this-time-only her special jewelry. We’ve even made uniquely custom pieces for you to give: a tiny diamond bracelet made from a bomb, quietly etched with charleston strong. And another, with I AM IBU. We can’t imagine a more perfect gift. It tinkles like a bell, nestled among a favorte set of silver bracelets or cuffs.
This is a rare moment of inspiration - to meet Beatrix and Elizabethof Article 22 who are making this awesomeness happen. I am so honored to host them for this affair. I hope that you will join us, each step of the way. Turning bombs into beauty.
All the best,
Susan Hull Walker