Slow fashion is the new luxury. When Egyptian sisters Aya and Mounaz Abdelraouf of Okhtein met best friends Zineb Britel and Laura Pujol of Moroccan footwear brand Zyne, it was a match made in handcrafted, sustainable, luxury design heaven. The resulting Okhtein x Zyne collection is entirely handmade between Egypt and Morocco and consists of three handbags, two mules, and one belt, showcasing Okhtein’s brass work and detailing and Zyne’s renowned raffia. Below, the women behind the two sustainable brands discuss how a shared ethos can result in a beautiful craft.
OKHTEIN Do you remember how we met?
ZYNE Of course… During the set-up of the Maison Pyramide Pre-co SS19 showroom in June 2018. It just took five days to meet, click, and collaborate… Bringing together our Moroccan woven work with raffia and your brass techniques from Egypt.
OKHTEIN Exactly, we fell in love with your raffia and fringes work and we felt that we could create something that would combine our handmade skills.
ZYNE We have been thinking of diversifying our collection by adding bags, and there you were! The timing was perfect.
OKHTEIN A perfect match. Our customer is a young daring woman who likes to stand out and values craftsmanship, and appreciates products that tell a story. Working with you was simply a very interesting story, fusing two North African countries and their local craftsmanship resulted in stand out pieces with a lot of culture behind it.
ZYNE Craftsmanship is truly the essence of this collection. The Zyne community is concerned about where the products are made, by whom, and how the materials are sourced. Our designs are timeless…
OKHTEIN What do you consider the key to consuming less today?
ZYNE Buy better quality products. Buying fashion that is timeless is not just an investment but also a way to contribute to the slow fashion movement, reducing the harmful impact the industry has on the environment. And, as turns out, you share the same values as us.
OKHTEIN We do share the same ideologies. We empower our local craftsmanship by giving our artisans a voice to the international market. A humble brass artisan has the opportunity to showcase his skills to the world.
And same goes for you, you are constantly empowering women artisans in Morocco spending endless hours on weaving straws with an amazing commitment and passion for what they do.
OKHTEIN We can’t get over how naturally this whole project came together … our characters clicked the minute we all met in Paris. From our first conversation, we were able to envision how epic it would be to merge all that talent and skills into one product! It’s always so interesting to work with a sister or a best friend, of course there will be similarities and differences, each has her character, but at the end of the day they complement each other and this creates a perfect harmony, and you out of all people would understand. Okhtein x Zyne is available at Farfetch, Browns Fashion, The Modist, Tasoni, Harvey Nichols Riyadh, Bloomingdale’s Middle East, Boutique 1