Meet Esther, a 2019 dress designer


I travel about 10 months out of the year so I can’t bring much with me. I wanted to make a dress that would work for any occasion.
— Esther Havens Mann

Esther Havens Mann is a bridge-builder, fostering relationships across continents, cultures, perspectives and an advocate for those in need. She has captured iconic imagery for charity: water, TOMS, and dozens of other organizations that impact our world for good. More than a photographer, she is a storyteller — capturing not just a person’s portrait but their true essence and what makes them shine. Esther has photographed the stories of people in 60+ countries on 6 continents over the past decade. Her worked has raised millions of dollars in funding for organizations ranging from clean water initiatives, anti-trafficking efforts, job creation, health care, and school access for vulnerable populations. No matter the story or country, Esther’s objective is to always make sure each person she photographs feels respected, empowered and cared for during the storytelling process. We were honored to have Esther design a dress for us this year.

Why did you design your dress the way you did?

Well I love long dresses because you can dress them up for a fancier dinner or wear it out casually. I travel about 10 months out of the year so I can't bring much with me. I wanted to make a dress that would work for any occasion. I chose to make it a wrap dress because it's typically more flattering.

Why does Dressember’s mission of a world without slavery resonate with you?

Slavery should not exist in this world! We cannot ignore it. I believe each of us must do our part to fight it. I have photographed many stories about men, women and children who have once lived in slavery. It has broken my heart to hear what they've been through. I dream of a world where all are set free.

What is something you’re proud of right now?

I just launched a series of images about formerly sponsored students in Rwanda. If child sponsorship actually works then "Where Are They Now?" I photographed each professional at their workplace in Rwanda. It was so encouraging to see each formerly sponsored child now living their dreams.

I also recently had a photo selected by Apple to be featured in their #ShotoniPhone Earth campaign. It was a photo of two penguins I shot on my honeymoon. The image appeared on billboards across the globe!

Anything else you’d like to share with us?

Find a way to use your skills to empower and improve the lives of others in the world.

Connect with Esther:

You can find Esther on instagram: @estherhavens, on Facebook, and on her website.

Sketch by Samantha Pilon

Sketch by Samantha Pilon