Chashama Brings Art to Ware, Sustainability-Focused Fashion Boutique Pop-Up to New York City’s Oculus at the Westfield World Trade Center

Chashama’s Storefront Startup Program Extends its Ongoing Partnership with Lesley Ware’s Socially Responsible Brand in a New Retail Location

Pictured: Art to Ware Founder Lesley Ware.
Photo Credit: Mark Sagliocco.

NEW YORK, NY (July 13, 2022) – This summer, Chashama and sustainable, women and minority-owned fashion brand Art To Ware (A2W) will launch a new pop-up retail location at the Westfield World Trade Center. Boasting a carefully curated selection of one-of-a-kind garments and accessories created from upcycled materials, the shop will showcase the latest designs from burgeoning up-and-coming talents, hand selected by A2W founder and fashion influencer, Lesley Ware. Situated within the iconic Oculus, the pop-up boutique will introduce shoppers to the next generation of socially responsible style purveyors, including Parron Allen, Gianni Lee, Hansel Clothing, JRat, Alexa Stark, Ooh Baby, and Project Runway alum Epperson. The grand opening set for Thursday, August 11th, 5-8pm.

Additionally, A2W will host a series of in-store demonstrations, based on Ware’s own fashion-as-self-care mantra. Guests will learn about her philosophy of cultivating creativity through personal style and how anyone can rework gently-worn clothing into unique, ethically sourced creations. (Schedule and details TBA)

The Westfield World Trade Center pop-up marks the fourth collaboration between Chashama and Art to Ware. Previous iterations have thrived in the West Village and Chelsea, in addition to the current Port Authority Bus Terminal location. The initiative is made possible by generous donations from Chashama’s Storefront Startup program, as well as support from the NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS). Art to Ware’s Oculus location builds on its commitment to sustainable fashion and locally-sourced goods by curating a vibrant in-store experience with affordable wearables ans engaging programming tailored toward the general public.

Having outperformed initial projections during its first three pop-up activations, Chashama’s Founder & Artistic Director Anita Durst is extending the organization’s partnership with A2W. “Lesley and Art to Ware have exceeded my expectations with its beautiful sustainable clothing and all the opportunities it has created for many designers,” she explained. Storefront Startup began as a pandemic-response program, connecting minority and women-owned small businesses with vacated storefronts free of rent, and has since grown into one of Chashama’s flagship initiatives.

“After partnering with us for our 2021 Holiday Market, we are delighted to work with Chashama again” said Diana Grasso, Vice President, Unibail-Rodamco-Westfield. “The Art to Ware pop-up reflects Westfield World Trade Center’s commitment to increasing accessibility for small and local minority and women-owned businesses and to offering visitors a unique and fresh shopping experience on their way through the Oculus.”

Connect with Chashama

About Lesley Ware

Lesley Ware is the founder of Art to Ware and the author of five books celebrating sustainable fashion including “How to Be a Fashion Designer’ ‘ distributed by Penguin Random House. As a fashion educator Lesley has helmed programs for Parsons School of Design, the Metropolitan Museum of Art, and the New York Times Student Journeys program. Starting with her blog The Creative Cookie in 2008, Lesley took a behind-the-scenes look at the NYC fashion world but has since evolved from an observer to a trendsetter to a thought leader in the New York garment scene.

About Chashama

Since 1995, Chashama has played a central role in sustaining New York’s vibrant creative community and increasing accessibility to the arts for all. Chashama supports artists by partnering with property owners to transform unused real estate into free presentation and workspace as well as free educational courses for underserved communities. To date, Chashama has transformed unused space for 30,000 artists, hosted 4,000 public art events, provided 1,500 free art classes in underserved communities, and reached audiences of nearly a million. Chashama’s new program, Storefront Startup, supports women and minority owned small businesses with free pop-up storefronts. Annually, Chashama provides $11 million worth of real estate to its participants. For more information, visit the official website:

About SBS

The NYC Department of Small Business Services (SBS) helps unlock economic potential and create economic security for all New Yorkers by connecting New Yorkers to good jobs, creating stronger businesses, and building thriving neighborhoods across the five boroughs. To learn more, visit their website:

About Westfield World Trade Center

Situated at the portal of Lower Manhattan where 13 subway / PATH trains, multiple ferry lines, and millions of global travelers all converge – Westfield World Trade Center has become an instantly identifiable landmark like no other.

This architectural marvel and the most complete retail destination in New York City showcases 80+ fashion, health, beauty, lifestyle, and technology brands under the magnificent roof of the iconic, Santiago Calatrava designed Oculus and throughout the galleries seamlessly connecting the entire WTC campus.

Anchored by Eataly NYC Downtown and Épicerie Boulud, fresh food and fine dining also take center stage at World Trade Center. For fast-casual dining the Gansevoort Liberty Market features 9 vendors with cuisine ranging from Peruvian to Japanese, in addition to 20+ other grab-and-go options throughout the Center.

The Oculus at Westfield World Trade Center and adjacent outdoor Oculus Plaza have become Lower Manhattan’s newest meeting places and home to a multitude of community events, headline entertainment, art and cultural programming, social activities. To learn more, visit their website: