From Thailand to Mexico - via the wardrobes of Gigi Hadid, Cara Delevingne, and Rita Ora - Ayah Tabari’s Dubai-born fashion label Mochi has taken us on a five-year-long global adventure since the birth of the brand in 2013. Each joyfully embroidered collection on Ayah’s style odyssey - with ports of call including Palestine, Jaipur, Hungary, Morocco, Spain, India, Budapest, Uzbekistan, and Africa - has taken its cue from, and more importantly benefitted the female stitching communities of, the country which inspired it.
However the Ramadan collection - in collaboration with The Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council in Sharjah - is her most meaningful yet, and brings the spirit of giving back to her home soil in the UAE. Ayah tells Grazia, “I really wanted to work with an organisation in the region and help raise awareness internationally for the talent and craftsmanship on our doorstep.”
She continues, “This collection is very sentimental to me as I feel that it was unearthed from the time I have spent in the Middle Eastern region. I grew up around the Ramadan culture and so I always want to make sure I am thoughtful in implementing parts of my heritage and upbringing in my designs.”
Ayah called upon 36 female artisans from the Bidwa Development Programme Centre in Dibba Al Hisn, in the emirate of Sharjah, to create the traditional hand-braided ‘Talli’ embroidery that adorns the collection, inspired by the ritual of henna, which has played a part in Emirati culture since the year 800.
Explaining why giving back is important to Mochi all year round, not just during the holy month, Ayah observes, “Artisans allowed me to launch Mochi and step into their worlds to give them a platform to showcase their work globally so it is very important that I keep supporting them and increase their standard of living as the brand continues to grow.”