Ali MacGraw Launches Her Second Clothing Line Collection – and It Gives Back in a Major Way
One of the standout fashion tastemakers of the 1970s is model, actress and animal rights activist Ali MacGraw. (Who could forget the serious coat envy she served up in the famous 1970 film Love Story?) And nearly 40 years after perfecting her chic and polished style, MacGraw has used her stylish eye and expertise to create fashion line in collaboration with Ibu Movement, and she just launched her second collection this week!
The second season of ali4ibu: Now & Then just dropped on Wednesday and has more of the embroidered and beaded selection of jackets, tunics, shawls, dresses and accessories that you’ve come to love. And for as colorful, wearable and chic as the pieces are, they actually give back in a huge way. Ibu is a brand that sells clothing and home goods that are handmade by female artisans around the world, an aspect that’s very important to MacGraw.
“Ibu is a movement of women artisans around the world growing into economic self-sufficiency through the talent of working with their hands,” MacGraw told PEOPLE at her West Palm Beach trunk show last week hosted by Lars Bolander, Nadine Kalachnikoff and Todd Hase.
“It is so exciting how women can give to other women in the world and create such a wonderful and different energy,” she said. “I love it.”
MacGraw, 79, works with Ibu Movement founder Susan Hull Walker (pictured with MacGraw, above) on the pieces in her collection. Together, they partner with 101 groups in more than 34 developing countries to work with female artisans to craft the pieces.
“I will see a long cotton jacket that I like but want it lined in stripes, so I talk to Susan, and she finds a group of female artisans in a country who can do it, and a new fashion is born,” explains MacGraw, who lives in Santa Fe, New Mexico, where she is constantly inspired by fashions and textiles at art shows and Indian markets.
“We work with artisans who are experts at stitching, beading, fabric, and even silver for the bracelets and earrings that I love. These women create every single piece by hand, and most of the money raised goes to them. It gives them respect which is good in this shifting moment for women.”
The actress, who recently completed a national tour of the play Love Letters with actor Ryan O’Neal, met Walker a couple of years ago at the International Folk Art Market in Santa Fe. The pair of philanthropic women hit it off over lunch, and a collaboration was born.
“Susan has lived in Ethiopia and knew by seeing how I dress that I love tribal jewelry, especially pieces from Africa and Central Asia,” says MacGraw.
As for MacGraw’s design skills, she’s quick to point out that she’s “not a designer” but thanks to Walker, she helps make her sketches and ideas come to life.
“Ali has ideas for clothing and accessories,” Walker told PEOPLE. “Now we match those ideas to our artisans with the appropriate skills who live in different countries around the world.”
When MacGraw found some Christmas ornaments in different colors, she asked Walker if she could find artisans to make them in silver. “Soon they became silver necklaces which have sold out,” said MacGraw.
Back home in her own cherished closet, MacGraw doesn’t buy into trends, but prefers to wear pieces of clothing and jewelry that are beautifully crafted.
“I have African textiles and beads, and vintage Halston and Yves Saint Laurent designs in beautiful fabrics with the best workmanship,” she shared. “I love handmade, quality design because it gives me great joy.”
Can’t wait to shop the collection? Head over to shop.ibumovement.com now.