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Afghani jewelers go global with Malika El-Masloui

Malika El-Masloui’s collaboration with Ishkar is finally here. The Moroccan-Italian model teamed up with the London-based e-commerce company on a range of necklaces delicately handcrafted by artisans from Kabul, Afghanistan.

The Malika x Ishkar collection dropped on the brand’s online marketplace this week.

“Between gracing the covers of @voguemagazine and shooting campaigns for the fashion world’s top labels, Malika El-Maslouhi is a model who is advocating for change in the industry,” Ishkar wrote in a statement. 

“We worked closely with Malika to design each piece of jewelry, each one is crafted by Waqas Ahmed Amiri in Kabul, Afghanistan.”

Originally from the Baghlan province of Afghanistan, Ahmed Amiri was born as a refugee in Pakistan in 1998. After returning to Afghanistan he studied jewelry at the Turquoise Mountain Institute.

The collection includes the Malika Choker,  handwoven, gold-plated piece complete with an adjustable M clasp that can be worn in a variety of ways that retails for $101 with 20 percent of the sale going toward the Turquoise Mountain Foundation.

The foundation supports Afghan artisans by providing them with three years of technical training, as well as a full range of business support following graduation.

The new collection draws its inspiration from the word “malika,” which translates to “queen” in Arabic. 

Ishkar was founded by former UAE residents Edmund Le Brun and Flore de Taisne in 2016.

The online marketplace serves as a platform for skilled artisans from war-torn countries like Afghanistan, Yemen, Syria and Somalia to showcase their talent while earning a living to support their families. Ishkar also sources products from Pakistan, Burkina Faso, Lebanon and Myanmar.

Products range from jewelry and homeware to clothing and face oils.

Since breaking out in the industry at 18-years-old, El-Maslouhi, who was born to a Moroccan father and an Italian mother in Milan, is a staunch advocate for change in the fashion industry.

 “I try to represent a positive light for Arab women so we can progressively and constructively move forward. We – as much as all women – try to break out of the norms that have existed for generations” she previously shared with Vogue Arabia.

She joins a new generation of Arab models who are changing the status quo in the fashion industry, alongside the likes of part-Palestinian sisters Bella and Gigi Hadid, Moroccan-British catwalk fixture Nora Attal and part-Saudi Victoria’s Secret model Shanina Shaik.

Source: Arab News

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