The Genteel
April 22, 2021

Amanda Coen

Amanda Coen goes from Brooklyn to SoHo to Savile Row to uncover how several devout, young Orthodox Jews are offering personalised, contemporary fashion that respect cultural traditions.

By Amanda Coen

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Amanda Coen

New York

Amanda is a photographer and writer with a love for travel, fashion, design and adventure. Amanda continues to uncover economic development, ethical fashion and cultural stories around the world. She is constantly inspired by her surroundings and life and shares her experiences through her photos and writing. You can stay up to date on her whereabouts via her blog (, follow her on Twitter @amandascoen and see more of her work on her website ( 

A number of social projects have turned to fashion to transform the lives of prison inmates. Amanda Coen takes a trip across Europe and the Philippines to see how individuals and organisations are initiating positive change in prisons.

Indego Africa is changing the way business is done with artisan cooperatives. The design-driven social enterprise has teamed up with the likes of Anthropology, J.Crew, Ralph Lauren and Nicole Miller to facilitate market access, increase visibility and diversify sales channels for the company's female artisan partners in Rwanda.

A growing number of New York City-based fashion designers have been resettling in rural towns further upstate. Amanda Coen explores what is driving their move, how they're operating in their new communities and how technology is making it possible to continue their careers from afar. 

Using her influence in the design world to address social and political concerns, Lucia Cuba combines creative force with social activism in her fashion collections. Cuba speaks to The Genteel about her work, the garment districts in New York City and Lima, as well as the changing landscape of Peruvian and Latin American fashion.

An astounding national economic crisis has inspired a surge of creativity and collaboration in Madrid. Amanda Coen explores how young, spirited entrepreneurs are finding resourceful solutions that are allowing them to continue to operate and flourish in hard times.

Under the birth control policies implemented by President Alberto Fujimori's government, hundreds of thousands of Peruvian men and women were forcibly sterilised over a four-year period in the late-1990s. Amanda Coen looks at how fashion designer and social activist, Lucia Cuba, is raising awareness of this highly contentious subject through her latest project, ARTICULO 6.

Nestled in the remote, arid region of central Argentina, the Payún Matrú Cooperative is re-framing the way locals value the diminishing wild guanaco population. The cooperative's unique, community-based initiative is harnessing the guanaco's highly valued wool into a catalyst for regional and economic development. Amanda Coen investigates further.

As the American press grapple to categorise the work of Slovenian fashion designer Sanja Grcic and explain her collection in more marketable terms, Amanda Coen wonders how meaningful such categories are across borders. Coen sits down with Grcic in New York City.

While many designers strive to work ethically and develop sustainable production models, collaborations with local artisan groups sometimes last only one season, create unstable sources of income and leave artisans with unfulfilled hopes. Awamaki, an organisation located in Ollantaytambo, Peru works with local artisan cooperatives to produce well-designed products that help support the local community.

One of the few artisan shoe manufacturers left in upstate New York, the Aurora Shoe Company is known for its limited selection of high-quality, durable leather shoes. Amanda Coen visits the small operation to find out what it takes to make locally-produced handmade shoes in America today.

In the wake of the Sandy Hook school shooting and other recent tragedies, ballistic protective gear companies have tapped into fears which are providing them with a new customer: kids. Amanda Coen wonders about the spike in sales of bulletproof school gear.

From creating extraordinary hair-y insects to running the eco-conscious clothing line, STATE, artist and designer Adrienne Antonson is as fascinating as her work. Amanda Coen caught up with this Renaissance woman in her Brooklyn studio to discover the stories behind her work.

Despite the dire economic climate, Madrid has seen several high-profile, cultural infrastructure projects launched in the last year. Amanda Coen surveys the city's shiny new landmarks.

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