Debbie Martin - Profile

Introduction by Emily Koltnow

I first met Debbie in 1989 when I was working on a search for my executive recruiting firm, Koltnow & Company. I placed Debbie as SVP over design and product development at Talbot’s. While we stayed in touch over the years, but we really reconnected in 2009 when my husband and I moved from Brooklyn Heights to Princeton NJ. Now Debbie lives not far from me and we've become good friends. Four  years ago Debbie retired from the apparel industry and launched Debbie Martin Designs, an exciting fashion accessories company. Scarves are all about prints. For the first 23 years of my career, I was a women’s sportswear designer, design director, and left as VP of design. My favorite part of each season was developing the prints. My mantra was “prints are my passion.” So, I took a great interest in Debbie’s new venture and am very excited to now be sharing her with the HipSilver community.

About This Designer

HipSilver is over the moon about introducing this well-loved brand whose motto is “Fashion with Compassion.” She brings us her latest fall designs from her namesake brand with highlights from two charities that are at the core of her giving support. Debbie Martin is a well-accomplished businesswoman hailing from a long-standing career in Fashion Design and Development with retailers such as Bloomingdales, Bergdorf Goodman, Macy’s, to name a few. This experience became a part of the foundation of Debbie Martin Designs, her first-ever independent venture that combines her affinity for Fashion, Art, and Design--with all designs made in house or collaboration with U.S. artists.

Hazel & Friends is under the umbrella of Debbie Martin Designs (founded in 2014), which is her scarf line that was inspired by her eight-year-old niece, Hazel Shaw. Hazel is missing a part of her ninth chromosome, which means she has to use a wheelchair and a communication device to speak. Debbie Martin was visiting with her family and began finger painting with Hazel, and that is when the inspiration struck! She almost immediately chose to incorporate Hazel’s artwork into her scarves.

Hazel’s Hope has also started to make an annual donation to the SAWA SAWA Foundation Art Program as well as incorporating designs by the Kenyan children into this season’s scarf line.

SAWA SAWA is an organization devoted to generating and sustaining resources for communities in and surrounding Kenya. Their Art Program focuses on using art to foster creative enrichment, explore process/new ways of thinking, and facilitate joyful group experiences for the children in these rural communities. The organization said to those buying these scarves, “the purchase of these scarves with the children’s artwork boldly will contribute to their continued higher education” -- Thank you

The line not only tugs at the heartstrings with it’s touching values, but are also closet staples for all-year-round accessorizing. Debbie feels deeply grateful and satisfied to not only employ her love of and experience in the fashion industry but to also give back to causes close to her heart, and we are feeling deeply grateful to be offering her latest collections to you!  

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