Unity and Diversity Collection Inspiration
For this collection, I was inspired by the theme I call Unity and Diversity, dreaming of the rich and diverse history of the Persian Empire as well as the common hope we all share for unity around the world in divided times.
After I design the collection in New York, it is next handcrafted by artisans in Kabul, Afghanistan, through Turquoise Mountain non-governmental organization, known as a foundation in the United States. Turquoise Mountain was created in 2006, an NGO with three goals: to preserve and transmit traditional craft heritage and skills, to create economic opportunity and a sense of pride for Afghans, and to regenerate Kabul's historic Old City.
This collection showcases the talents of graduates of the Turquoise Mountain Institute as well as local natural resources found in Afghanistan such as bright blue lapis lazuli, shiny black tourmaline, and rainbow colors of agate. Symbolic motifs such as wheat sheaves, Persian suns, and traditional stylistic inspiration has been incorporated into many of the designs of this collection. Each piece is hand crafted from start to finish using traditional craft heritage and exceptional craftsmanship in an area that is still classified as a war zone.