November Design Thinking Breakfast with Edward Wycliff
Edward Wycliff is the founder and designer of an ethical apparel line called Bow Shoeshoe (“Shway-Shway”).
Wycliff grew up in Third Ward. He moved to upstate New York and earned a BA in Politics at Ithaca College, before earning a MS in Conflict Resolution and Governance from Universiteit van Amsterdam in the Netherlands.
Wycliff developed a passion for travel, especially in Africa, after assisting graduate school classmates with research projects in Cairo, weeks before Egypt’s first democratic election. After returning home, he joined the US Peace Corps, and was sent to Lesotho as a Healthy Youth Adviser. Currently, Wycliff resides in New Orleans. He has been living and working between New Orleans and the kingdom of Lesotho since 2015.
During his time in as a Peace Corps Volunteer, Wycliff fell in love with Lesotho, but felt ineffective working to mitigate the impact of HIV/AIDS in a community with no resources or relevant training. After a year of living in a remote village deep in the Drakensberg mountains, he came to believe that abject poverty is what makes AIDS so deadly, and without medical skills the only way he could make a positive impact in the community was through social entrepreneurship.
In 2015, Wycliff and his host brother Katleho Mthembu trained themselves and 80 people in the Rankakala region of Lesotho to sew bow ties with the local fabric, Shoeshoe. Before the pandemic he would travel to the states, selling the company’s wares in New Orleans art markets. New Orleans Magazine named him “2018 People To Watch”, and he earned his first invitation to the prestigious New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival in 2019.
While preparing for his second Jazz Fest, COVID-19 spread throughout the world, and Wycliff virtually trained his lead team in Lesotho to pivot toward mask making in March. His company donated hundreds of masks to frontline workers. In 2020 Wycliff became the first fashion designer to produce garments for Anheuser-Busch’s new brand, Social Club Seltzer. He also costumed and co-directed the Louisiana State Health Department’s “Mask Up Yall” PSA.
About Design Thinking Breakfast
- These casual events in the Taylor Center’s Design Thinking Breakfast series will be moving to an online format until further notice … and breakfasts will be BYOC – ‘Bring your own coffee’.
- The goal is to learn from each other. The format will evolve as we learn, together, what might be most valuable (and enjoyable!) to us all. Breakfasts will include both time to mingle and one or two quick activities to foster knowledge-sharing or community-building.
The DT breakfasts are open to all. No DT experience is required.
- Come with an open heart and mind and prepare to learn and share with others in the local, regional, and international DT community.
- Please invite anyone who would enjoy both sharing with and learning from other practitioners and educators in the greater New Orleans area, the Gulf South, and connecting with other people in the local, regional and international design thinking community.
- When: One Friday each month
- Cost: Free
- Contact: firstname.lastname@example.org