She’s doing her part to help victims of sex trafficking.
Asia (left) and Elena.
Last fall, the Feliks + Adrik designer Asia Ragland donated a few pieces from her delicate-but-slick first collection to a charity event in San Diego where she met Elena Bondar. Just as soon as her new pal moved up to L.A., they started meeting weekly to discuss the future of Two Wings, a foundation Elena founded to support survivors of the sex trade. In her early twenties, after experiencing a rather traumatic encounter of her own, Elena started volunteering with an organization that provided critical services for women who had been victims of sex trafficking, but she discovered that, in her mind, one key component was missing: She couldn’t find anyone helping these women reintegrate back into society and start careers. Mentoring, coaching, and career placement became Two Wings’s mission.
On top of developing a special jewelry collection to benefit the cause, Asia is contributing her time and the wisdom she’s amassed getting her line off the ground, giving guidance to women who want to make their way in the fashion and design world. “Playing a role in an organization that acknowledges a major moral dilemma of our time—the oppression of women around the world—means that I have a chance to be part of the solution and contribute to something so much larger than myself,” she explains. “Through my experiences starting my own business, I aim to help these women find the confidence within themselves and to give them the encouragement to know that they can provide for themselves.” It’s the sort of perspective that has got to make Asia feel awesome about going to work everyday. —courtney mccarroll