Jordan-based brand Nafsika Skourti, helmed by sisters Nafsika and Stephanie, has launched a Spring 2020 collection rife with couture-like separates under the name “Daddy’s Girl.” The Internet is rife with explanations of what it means to be a Daddy’s Girl in (almost) 2020, the independent Skourti sisters share their own visual take on the term below.
Of the two sisters, is one of you a Daddy’s Girl and what connotation?
NAFSIKA: Neither of us are a Daddy’s Girl so to speak, but we are looking at the concept abstractly and how it is reflected in our society. The concept started as a shallow satire (with the manicure print etc) but there is something more reflective going on. We’re fiercely independent, self-made women, and we feel so empowered. This collection made me realize that some days I crave having that safety net, a father figure who shields you from the outside world. That self-reflective feeling might explain why the “daddy’s little princess” undercurrent was so pronounced.
Marcel Marlier’s illustrations serve as an inspiration, where did you first come across them?
NAFSIKA: I was (very) pregnant in Paris and my favorite thing to do was go to the Antique market in Saint-Ouen and walk around all day on the weekend. It was there that I found old cookie jars with the illustrations. To call them drawings is so reductive – he was channeling a world. The illustrations were fantastic, I bought the whole set. They now sit in the studio and I have turned them into candles.
Who created the fairytale prints for this collection?
STEPHANIE: Nafsika designed the prints during some time she spent in Paris in the middle of the night while her son Elia slept. We were getting emails from her at 4am with instructions and next steps. It was crazy but illuminating. She was so inspired and you could feel the energy from thousands of miles away.
NAFSIKA: When there’s a will there’s a way!
STEPHANIE: The mani/pedi graphic on the jersey pieces was actually created from scratch at the studio. We got a girl with beautiful hands and feet to come to the studio and we staged a really elaborate manicure and pedicure session with orchids, a smoke machine, colored lights, and a giant crystal ball.
NAFSIKA: Taking small cultural nuances and turning them into fashion that can reach a global audience and tell a story. I believe its important to reflect on all aspects of who we are and where we come from, and grooming in the Middle East is huge. To us, it’s just the way things are but from the outside its fascinating.
Nafsika, you recently became a mom and Stephanie, an aunt. Do you feel an extra desire to protect a sense of fairytale and innocence in one’s lives?
NAFSIKA: My desire now is to be as efficient as possible!
STEPHANIE: Watching your family grow and your first baby (this brand) mature and expand is very fulfilling. We work with more purpose. We are building this for Elia and beyond.
The corset, exaggerated sleeves, sexy slip dress, these silhouettes are becoming synonymous with the brand. Why do you gravitate to them?
NAFSIKA: Old school couture will forever be a reference — the construction, the fabrics, the shaping. I am obsessed with the juxtaposition behind the idea of making couture pieces that work with jeans, or a skirt, or trousers. It’s in the versatility of a piece that makes it modern. Those references also offset a lot of my more millennial references and make a nice contrast to all the cultural story telling we do.
STEPHANIE: The brand is becoming known for evening wear separates that have that changeability where you can mix and match, remix as you like.
Tell us about the shoot. The light is beautiful…
NAFSIKA: In Jordan, the light has a rose tinted glow. It’s magic. Most of it was shot at sunrise. It was photographed and styled by the incredibly talented Rachael Wang. The collection is proudly designed and developed in Jordan. 80% of it is made in Jordan. This isn’t widely known, but all the embroidery is done in Jordan by underprivileged survivor women.
They are arguably one of my biggest sources of inspiration: their story feeds my soul and reminds me everyday to be grateful and keep at it. But also as their skills develop more, they open up design possibilities. Design is dialogue and this is one of the best conversations you could ever have.
Who are five regional burgeoning designers that you have your eye on today?
STEPHANIE: The Middle East is at a point now where a lot of the businesses have matured and we’re seeing some incredible work roll out.
Liudmila– Best shoes hands down, we have them in our studio in Amman and the brand is selling super well.
Marzook– They do glam and it’s totally in line with our aesthetic.
Tania George– Love her playful take on prints; all so clever and each with a story.
Okhtein– Their new collection is great. Girl bosses through and through.
Sandra Mansour– Long time admirer of her work. There’s a lot of heart and soul in her work that I think is becoming increasingly rare, especially in couture.