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“The truth is, I never launched the brand. The universe pushed me to. After graduating I was feeling lost, and had a defeatist mindset because I had decided that my grad collection sucked! Then I discovered a small blog called 1 Granary had featured my work and, through that, a lady with a showroom in Paris who was always on the hunt for fresh talent came across my work. She insisted I take the collection to Paris Fashion Week. I told her no as the collection was stashed in a suitcase under my bed. She went ahead anyway and emailed the look book to all the buyers. Places like Opening Ceremony and Colette were enthusiastic and made appointments. I got the email 13 days before Paris Fashion Week, and literally didn’t sleep as I had to make new pieces. My sister Stephanie had just quit her job in London and moved to Berlin. My mother called for her to come to Paris to help me out. That season was really exciting and gave me the confidence I felt I had lost – and that’s how it all started. No plan. Just a big dream. Nafsika Skourti was born in our TV room, then expanded into the third bedroom and eventually took over the dining area as well. That’s when our mom pushed us to get a real studio.”
“Palestine has always been a source of inspiration, and a story I love to shed light on in our designs. You can see hints of home everywhere – woven in cotton jacquards, graffiti on print, bleeding doves, tassel-beaded Arabic letters, the list goes on.
“The energy really just comes from all the women that we meet, family, friends, clients. They all come with different vibes and moods and personalities. It’s about widening the scope of what it means to be feminine: it can be sexy, it can be minimal, it can be masculine. Clothes don’t empower women; clothes just have the power to express and inject another layer of confidence. I would like to think we contribute to that.”
“While designing, we find ourselves always craving contrast. Even in the way that we dress it’s very nuanced; you’re not just fancy, you’re always two things at once. And it’s actually this contrast that adds the cool factor that we’re looking for. It’s like showing up to a wedding with very little makeup but in a really out-there outfit. This is the kind of duality we like – and breaking conventions.”
The Sustainability Factor
“I don’t throw away things often and I don’t buy clothes for myself often – and that’s what I think about when designing. How can we create pieces that you can wear in different settings and that you can keep for a long time? Our business model is pretty much rooted in custom designs, capsules and well-studied limited inventory. We don’t make huge quantities of pieces that will sit on rails forever.”
The Middle Eastern Influence
“I think designing is an act of constantly rediscovering who we are. That’s something closely connected to our identity as multinationals with a Palestinian, Jordanian and Greek heritage. Drawing elements from our home is a natural thing – our ‘Hobi Falasteen’ floral is one of my favourites, so is the bleeding dove print which was taken from a Palestinian resistance poster from 1982.”
The Nafsika Skourti Woman
“I always design for independent, confident women who aren’t afraid to embrace who they are and be all that they are without reservations. My muse has this black cat energy about her, sort of chic with a side of dark humour. She always loves a story. We’re crushing hard on Grace Ghanem these days – I would love to dress her!”
“I’m always working towards the future. We’ve been developing our international presence for a couple of years now and we’re excited to take that even further. We’re expanding our circle of Nafsika Skourti girls, working with amazing talents and creatives across the globe which is so fulfilling.”
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