Cincinnati-based Geetha Minton is a clothing designer with local roots, internationally-inspired designs, and a global vision to end human trafficking. Read more about her clothing line, GKM Design, and how she’s infusing Indian textiles and colors with Western silhouettes to create a stylish (and lifesaving) fashion empire.
Human trafficking is a worldwide epidemic that has impoverished thousands of women across the world. This concept of modern day slavery isn’t just limited to one country or one particular part of the world.
From the U.S. to the Middle East, the fight to stop human trafficking has emerged in a number of ways. Geetha Minton, Cincinnati-based founder of GKM Design, is doing what she can to help women in Moldova who have been rescued from human trafficking.
“GKM Design is a Freedom Business that helps support women who have been rescued from the red light districts of India and Moldova,” she explains. A percentage of the sales from GKM Design go to the organization Freeset, a fair trade business that helps to employ women who have been rescued from the sex trade.
When working on the designs for her own dress line, Minton says she wanted to create something similar Western cut dresses but with the look of a sari or lehenga.
“The Indian fabrics and embroidery are incredibly unique and the detail is like no other,” she says. “However, growing up in America I really admired the the style and drape of Western cut dresses. So I thought, why not marry the two?”
So, with that idea in mind, Minton was able to fuse Western cut dresses with Indian textiles, colors and accents to insure a one-of-a-kind creation that you can’t find anywhere else.
She knows all too well that you can’t find this design elsewhere, as she was first inspired to create this unique style when searching for bridesmaids dresses for her wedding. Frustrated in her search, Minton, with no formal design background, ended up designing her five bridesmaids dresses, each unique to their body type and personality.
That, she says, is where she found her passion for fashion design. Soon after, she began designing her own dresses for events and special occasions. Then, she began researching fabrics, embellishments, and regions where she could source her products and skilled workers.
Today, while the majority of material needed for her dresses is sourced from India, Minton says that anything she can’t get from there is purchased from local businesses.
Minton officially launched her business in Spring 2016, and her first collection will debut at the second annual Cincinnati Fashion Night on July 22 at Performance Lexus Rivercenter, in Covington KY. “We will be showcasing our signature dress line, which currently consists of 6 dresses, as the fashion show sponsor at the event,” she says.
More photos, details about the line, and information about Cincinnati Fashion Night event will be posted soon on her GKM Design Facebook page. Minton says she hopes to have the website launched by the end of July.