Legacy Collection by Charmaine Taylor
“As I walked out the door towards the gate that would lead to my freedom I knew that if I didn't leave my bitterness and hatred behind I'd still be in prison.” Nelson Mandela
Legacy Collection by Charmaine Taylor isn't just a jewellery collection. Each piece is a poignant work of art made from the Robben Island fence, South Africa's notorious prison that once housed freedom fighters like Nelson Mandela, Walter Sisulu and many more during the country’s oppressive apartheid years.
Art with a purpose, the Legacy Collection takes precious handmade pieces that represent South Africa's miraculous metamorphosis, turning what was once a symbol of suppression into a new one of hope, forgiveness and freedom. And giving back to local communities.
A Beautiful New Facet
2018 sees Legacy Collection venture into another avenue with a striking new range of skilfully beaded jewellery.
Designed to be worn with intent, each locally handcrafted piece allows the wearer to celebrate South Africa's powerful heritage while paying tribute to the elders who helped shape the democracy we have today. And celebrating Nelson Mandela’s centinnial year. Mandela would have been 100 on 18 July.
“Legacy Collection allows me to be a storyteller in the jewellery world with a brand that stands for human rights as well as environmental awareness. Legacy Collection can show a world, in need of hope, that we can resurrect a broken past and create something striking that has both purpose and beauty. I'm also proud to create this locally in Cape Town creating employment.”
A Powerful Legacy
Committed to the continued investment in South Africa’s development, 10% of profits from Legacy Collection go to the Nelson Mandela Foundation and also Harvest of Hope, which contribute to the empowerment of disadvantaged individuals and communities in South Africa.
Charmaine Taylor’s Journey
South African designer and entrepreneur Charmaine Taylor witnessed the injustice of apartheid as a young girl as well as the incredible transformation of her country, beginning with the release of Nelson Mandela from prison in 1990. Impassioned to assist in promoting the message of forgiveness exemplified by Nelson Mandela, she realised her dream in 2012 when she partnered with Chris Swift, the founder of the Robben Island Art Company & Trust (RIACT), a social enterprise creating sustainable employment.
"When you're covered with love, grace and forgiveness you transform a broken past into something beautiful. Legacy Collection symbolises that while scars remain, they remind us of how peace and reconciliation were achieved in South Africa and can occur across our world." - Charmaine Taylor
Chris had rescued the original Robben Island fence from the landfill while the island was being renovated in 2009 and shared Charmaine's belief that the fence, through art, could become a striking emblem for South Africa's incredible metamorphosis. Thus, Legacy Collection has the exclusive rights to create jewellery from the Robben Island fence through RIACT.
Today, Charmaine is a sought after guest speaker both locally and abroad. Notable events have included the Commonwealth Lifestyle Women's Breakfast with British actress and philanthropist Patsy Palmer as well as Swedish singing super star Carola Haggkvist’s Womans lunch. She's also a prolific voice in South African media, using it as a platform to share the journey of The Fence along with it's powerful message of forgiveness, freedom and hope.