Zazi Vintage

Ethical Vintage

I-D (NL) x Zazi

Jeanne De Kroon

dit zijn de jonge filantropen van nederland

We gingen op zoek naar de filantropen van Nederland. De weldoeners, positieve activisten, de jongeren die hun empathie omzetten in daden en leven vanuit hun emotie. Ze zijn slim en creatief. We vroegen hen hoe zij het wél klaargespeeld hebben, want eerlijk is eerlijk: in een ideale wereld zouden we allemaal een filantroop zijn, maar dat vergt toch heel wat meer dan af en toe een maatschappijkritische facebookpost online gooien.

  • Zazi Vintage

    Jeanne [23 jaar] studeert filosofie in Berlijn, waar ze de richting ethiek volgt, en heeft een grote interesse in vrouwenrechten. Haar reis door India en de ontmoetingen die ze daar had, in combinatie met haar voorliefde voor mode, leidden uiteindelijk tot Zazi Vintage: het label dat met minderbedeelde vrouwen werkt om hen een inkomen en een stem te geven.

    Ik wil me niet tegen de fast-fashion-ketens keren, maar ze inspireren om met initiatieven als Zazi Vintage samen te werken.

     

     

     

    Wat is de mooiste ontmoeting die je tijdens je reis door India had?
    De ontmoeting met Madhu: een uitgehuwelijkte vrouw die huisvrouw moest worden. Ze woonde in een klein dorp waar het kastensysteem heerst, met in de onderste laag de 'onraakbaren': als je hen aanraakt, hoor je je te wassen. Een verschrikkelijke situatie, en Madhu accepteerde die niet. Ze is Engels gaan leren om meer dan een huisvrouw te worden, werd toegelaten tot de Universiteit van Californië en heeft met steun van die Amerikaanse universiteit een project opgezet waarmee ze alle facetten van de levenskwaliteit van de vrouwen in haar dorp probeert te verbeteren. Inmiddels hebben we samengewerkt aan een collectie voor Zazi Vintage, waardoor nu 25 vrouwen een paar maanden van een stabiel inkomen kunnen genieten.

    Wat is het grootste probleem waar je binnen je werk mee te maken krijgt?
    De grootste uitdaging voor de mode-industrie is nu om ethische mode 'hip' te maken. Er is een sterke scheiding tussen mode waarin bijna iedereen loopt en die ten koste gaat van de natuur en de positie van mensen in ontwikkelingslanden - en de ethisch verantwoorde kleding die meestal niet 'modieus' genoeg is. Met Zazi Vintage probeer ik dat gat op te vullen en andere labels te inspireren om hetzelfde te doen. Ik wil me niet tegen de fast-fashion-ketens keren, maar ze inspireren om met initiatieven als Zazi samen te werken.

    Waar ben je trots op?
    We hebben inmiddels genoeg geld hebben opgehaald om zeven meisjes een jaar naar school te laten gaan.

    www.zazi-vintage.com

Sleek Mag X Zazi

Jeanne De Kroon

The New Berlin Designer Changing the Game

 

SLEEK’S Fashion Director Jessica Hannan caught up with Jeanne De Kroon, the designer behind the Berlin label Zazi Vintage, to quiz her on her new collection of Afghan-style coats shot exclusively for SLEEK by Stefan Dotter

 

Her Berlin Studio

Jeanne De Kroon’s studio is high above a Turkish bakery in a traditional Berlin Altbau apartment in the city’s vibrant Neukölln area. I arrive on a cold winter day and the colourful beaded dresses and dramatic sheepskin-lined coats are immediately cheering. An animated group of customers are just on their way out, and De Kroon excuses herself to make fresh ginger tea (I had mentioned I was a bit under the weather, so she is making me her special mix). This small but thoughtful gesture encapsulates the quiet empathy of the Dutch ex-model-turned-fashion-designer.

Fast Fashion Nightmares

When the tea is poured, she explains how she started Zazi Vintage.

“I was introduced to a small project in India during my travels. Their daily mission was fighting against high street retailers, such as H&M. When you have heard grown women telling stories about wearing nappies because they are not allowed toilet breaks – you can’t really get over something like that. I knew then that I needed to find a way to contribute towards change.”

 

THE DEATH OF EMPATHY USHERED IN A SELFISH NEW MOOD – WHERE REAL FUR WAS BACK ON THE RUNWAY AND HUMAN RIGHTS WAS OFF THE AGENDA.

The New Wave of Ethical Designers
My first job in fashion was as an assistant to Tamsin Blanchard on an ethical fashion book called Green is the New Black. It was 2007, and conversations about organic cotton, fair trade and sustainability were hot topics. Unfortunately, the following year the economy crashed and our focus turned inwards. We simply stopped caring. The death of empathy ushered in a selfish new mood – where real fur was back on the runway and human rights was off the agenda.

Almost ten years on, De Kroon is amongst a new wave of creators daring to bring ethical issues back into fashion. She explains her design process: “I work with this amazing power lady called Madhu who has set up an NGO called Institute for Philanthropy and Humanitarian Development (IPHD). IPHD is an organisation addressing all the challenges that women face in the rural areas of India. Madhu works with the women and gives them sustainable projects like sewing Zazi Vintage dresses. She then teaches them how to properly invest their money so they can save and slowly lift their families out of poverty.” 

 INTERNET TROLLS ACCUSED HER OF “CULTURAL APPROPRIATION” AND “FAILING TO REALLY EMPOWER WOMEN”.

Dealing with Internet Criticism

As a blonde, white designer working with ethnic fabrics, De Kroon has attracted her fair share of internet critics. They often accuse her of“cultural appropriation” or “failing to really empower women”, or the lack of diversity in her lookbooks.

When De Kroon reveals this I can’t help but groan. I have heard similar reports from other ethical designers. It seems the more worthy your cause, the quicker people feel threatened and try to pick at your integrity.

However, as with everything De Kroon (who regularly practices silent meditation and teaches yoga in her spare time), is refreshingly balanced about this issue.

“At first, when I got criticised on Instagram, I would enter into a dialogue with accusers and offer to take it offline and discuss on email. But none of them ever wanted that.” I reassure her that trolls don’t really want to debate, and she agrees. “For me, fashion is an incredible way to connect with people. By wearing a sari blouse in India or a traditional Netela scarf in Ethiopia – I noticed that I took away some of the cultural boundaries and made the identification. It felt as if the connection grew stronger.”

Whether it is with Madhu, the “power lady” from the NGO, one of fashion’s hot new photographers, like Stefan Dotter who shot De Kroon’s latest lookbook, or the girls who come to her apartment to shop; forging connections comes naturally to De Kroon.

The Coats

Our time is almost up and she has another girl due to arrive at any moment. I spy an ankle-length coat in red and black and lined with sumptuous sheepskin. I enquire about its background while I contemplate a purchase. She tells me passionately: “This one is made from hand-embroidered fabric from Tajikistan and is lined with vintage Mongolian rugs. It is inspired by Afghan design and made by artisans. Each one I sell provides one year of education for a girl in rural India.”

And as one might expect, I am sold.

Photography: Stefan Dotter

Styling: Holly Ann Ladd

Coats: Zazi Vintage

Models: Claire Collins, Stella Klein at Nevs Models, Amanda Nova at

 

Refinery 29 DE X Zazi

Jeanne De Kroon

Als Kind träumte Jeanne - auch Zizi genannt - Margot de Kroon davon, ihren Hasen zu heiraten, die Präsidentin von Holland zu werden und irgendwann Mutter zu sein. Mit 18 kam dann aber wie so oft doch alles anders und sie wurde als Model entdeckt. Ihre Heldinnen waren plötzlich nicht mehr nur Vordenkerinnen, Aktivistinnen oder aufopferungsvolle Mütter. In den Medien sah sie Frauen mit hübschen Taschen und perfektem Haar. Und irgendwann drehte sich auch ihr Alltag hauptsächlich um Make-Up, Workouts und Saftkuren. 

 

So landete de Kroon an dem Ort, von dem alle Nachwuchsmodels träumen: in New York. Sie modelte für Elle und Nylon, trug Chanel bei Fotoshootings, wurde von Topshop und Zalando gebucht. Doch trotz aller großen Hoffnungen konnte das Modeln die junge Holländerin nie erfüllen. Also wandte sie der Traumwelt den Rücken zu, ging zurück in ihre Heimat und entschied sich für ein Philosophiestudium, das ihr die Möglichkeit ließ nebenbei ihrer Reiseleidenschaft nachzugehen. Weg vom Luxus, hin nach Indien, Äthiopien und Nepal.

 

Dort begegnete Zizi faszinierenden Frauen, deren Lebensumstände sie aber immer wieder ernüchterterten. Die Konfrontation mit Armut und Unterdrückung auf der einen Seite, Gastfreundschaft und Offenheit auf der anderen, begleitet von den faszinierende, traditionellen Gewändern der verschiedenen Völker, motivierten sie dann dazu ihr eigenes Vintage-Brand zu gründen. Zazi Vintage soll nun Frauen auf der ganzen Welt miteinander verbinden, sie unterstützen und keinen zusätzlichen Müll produzieren. Die erste Linie wird nun gelauncht, mit wunderschönen, aufwendig verzierten Kleidern des Kuchi-Volkes.

 

Im Interview spricht Zizi mit uns über das besondere Kozept ihres Labels, ihre Reisen, die bestärkende Kraft von Mode und ihre Haltung zum Problem der kulturellen Aneignung. 

 

Wie bist du auf die Idee zu Zazi Vintage gekommen?

 

Das ist passiert, als ich die verschiedenen Punkte in meinem Leben miteinander verknüpft habe. Mode hat schon immer eine zentrale Rolle darin gespielt, da meine Mutter Kunst- und Modejournalistin war und überall auf der Welt inspirierende Frauen getroffen hat. So habe ich schon früh realisiert, dass Mode genau wie Kunst als Plattform genutzt werden kann, die eine bestimmte Nachricht oder Idee vermittelt. Mode ist für mich mehr als Kleidung. Es geht viel mehr darum, sich selbst auszudrücken.

 

Vor drei Jahren bin ich dann nach Nepal gereist und wurde von einer Frau in Kathmandu in ein Café gezogen. Sie hat mich mit zu sich nachhause genommen und mir diese großartige 70s-Bollywood-Bluse aus Indien gegeben. Sie sagte, dass mir dieses Stück Superkräfte verleihen wird und das habe ich wirklich gefühlt. Nach meiner Zeit in Nepal bin ich vom Himalaya aus nach Indien gereist. Dabei habe ich gemerkt, dass ich an die Frauen der Gegend eine verständliche Nachricht sende, wenn ich die Bluse getragen habe. Es war so, als ob ich sagen würde: “Ich will dich kennenlernen, mich mit dir verbinden. Ich will mehr über dich und deine Kultur erfahren. Ich möchte deine Geschichten hören.” So habe ich gelernt, dass ein einfaches Stück Stoff ohne Worte kommunizieren kann. Deshalb wollte ich weiter die Welt bereisen.

 

Später habe ich dann die Netala getragen, während ich mich bei einem Projekt mit Äthiopischen Frauen ausgetauscht habe. Dann habe ein Oberteil aus matriarchalischen Gemeinschaften der Gujarat-Wüste in Indien angezogen, als ich mit ihnen in Kontakt stand. Mich in diesen Kontexten entsprechend zu kleiden, hat die kulturellen Barrieren zwischen den Frauen und mir durchbrochen. 

 

Während meiner letzten Reisen in Indien bin ich den Kleidern des Kuchi-Volks begegnet, und habe mich total in sie verliebt. Als ich dann zurück in Deutschland war, begann für mich ein neues intensives Semester an der Universität, voller Kurse über Menschenrechte und Wirtschaftsregularien. Das hat mich dazu inspiriert, ein ethisch vertretbares Brand zu gründen, von dem alle Teile der Produktions- und Verwertungskette sowie die Umwelt profitieren werden. 

 

Die ersten Kontakte für mein Brand, die ich weltweit gemacht habe, waren allesamt Frauen. Doch in vielen patriarchalischen Gesellschaften ist es immer noch schwierig als Frau, ein eigenes Geschäft zu gründen und finanziell unabhängig zu sein. Deswegen will ich Frauen aus der ganzen Welt dabei unterstützen, ihre eigenen Geschäfte auszubauen, indem ich ihnen Vintage-Kleidung aus ihrer Region abkaufe und obendrein lokale Projekte, die sich für Frauen einsetzen, unterstütze.

 

Wie vermeidest du dabei die neue Produktion von Materialien?

 

Zazi arbeitet nur mit Vintage-Stücken. Durch den engen Kontakt mit unseren Sammlerinnen erhalten wir täglich Updates darüber, wo sie die Kleidung finden. Wir wissen, wo sie einkaufen und was die Geschichte hinter jeder neuen Kollektion ist.

 

Wie findest du die Sammlerinnen und Projekte, die ihr unterstützt?

 

Die meisten finde ich über mein Netzwerk. Ich hatte das Glück in Deutschland zu studieren und konnte in den Semesterferien weltweit reisen. Dabei habe ich die ersten Sammlerinnen entdeckt. Die nächsten Kapitel sind ebenso mit Frauen aus meinem Netzwerk verbunden. Ich würde mir aber wünschen noch mehr Kontakte zu knüpfen.

 

Wie oft verreist du?

 

Nachdem ich in New York und Paris gelebt habe, ist Berlin in den letzten drei Jahren zu meiner Heimat geworden. Ich reise aber mindestens sechs Monate im Jahr während meiner Pausen von der Uni.Was war der magischste Moment, den du jemals auf Reisen erlebt hast?Magische Momente bedeuten für mich, dass ich eine neue Dimension der Realität entdecke oder eine neue Perspektive aufs Leben erfahre. Das sind Momente, die mehr sind, als das, was man vorher für möglich gehalten hat. 

 

Ich bin in einer kleinen Blase in Holland aufgewachsen, deswegen ist schon die Kombination aus Reisen selbst und das Kennenlernen anderer Kulturen magisch für mich. Einige besondere Momente waren aber zum Beispiel, als ich gedacht habe, dass ich von einem Aghori Baba verflucht wurde, nachdem wir ein Gespräch hatten bei den Beerdigungsfeuern in Varanasi, oder als ich erlebt habe, wie ein Mann im guatemaltekischen Dschungel mit Hilfe von Froschgift vom Denguefieber geheilt wurde oder als ich in den äthiopischen Bergen eine Yogastunde für mehrere Ehefrauen eines Mannes gegeben habe.

 

Was bedeutet dir Feminismus?

 

Allein die Existenz des menschlichen Körpers bedingt für mich den Feminismus. Die Zufälligkeit des Lebens bestimmt, dass du geboren wirst. Das folgende Leben definiert dann, als was du nach deinem Leben gesehen wirst. Ich wurde in einen weiblichen Körper geboren und nehme die Anforderungen und Ideale, die die Gesellschaft an diese Kreation hat, wahr. Durch mein Studium des Feminismus und des französischen Existenzialismus habe ich aber bemerkt, dass das was in meinem Körper ist, einfach eine Person ist. 

 

Doch die Gesellschaft und die Ideen, die rund um das Frausein bestehen, sind getrennt davon, was Frausein eigentlich bedeutet. Wenn es eine positive Trennung geben würde - das Wertschätzen jedes einzelnen Lebewesens - dann würde auch das Frausein entsprechend zelebriert. Das große Problem vieler Kulturen, Gesellschaften und Mentalitäten ist aber, das Frausein mit vielen Nachteilen einhergeht. Zu sehen, dass starke Frauen weltweit einfach nur, weil sie kein Glück haben oder eben einfach Frau sind, nicht das Schaffen können, was sie wünschen, hat mich dazu motiviert Zazi Vintage zu gründen.

 

Was ist der wichtigste Ratschlag, den du gern jedem Mädchen und jeder Frau geben würdest?

 

Liebe deine Unsicherheiten und lerne von ihnen! Meine Unsicherheiten haben mich schon immer beschäftigt und ich finde es spannend zu beobachten, wie Frauen weltweit ihre Eigenen überwinden. Sie haben mich auf die großartigsten Reisen geführt. Die größten Tiefpunkte waren für mich der Ursprung neuer Ideen. Das Meiste davon hat mich dazu inspiriert, mich weiterzuentwickeln. 

 

Die Lektionen, die ich von meinen Unsicherheiten gelernt habe, sind verbunden mit Rollen, die ich (un)bewusst über die Jahre gespielt habe. Als Frau, die in der modernen Gesellschaft aufgewachsen ist, habe ich die Unsicherheiten als kleine Spiegel verstanden, die die Anforderungen auf mich als Frau reflektieren. Letztendlich sind die Dinge, die uns unsicher machen im Leben, auch genau die Dinge, die uns besonders machen. Das ist doch großartig!

 

Kann Mode zur Bestärkung von Frauen beitragen?

 

Mode kann Frauen in vielerlei Hinsicht bestärken. Die Kleidung, die wir jeden Tag tragen, gibt uns die Freiheit, uns selbst mit einer starken Message auszudrücken. Wenn diese Message aufrichtig und bewusst gewählt ist, dann kann Mode ganz ohne Worte inspirieren

Wie stehst du zur Problematik der kulturellen Aneignung?

 

Man kann nicht leugnen, dass kulturelle Aneignung ein Problem in unserer Gesellschaft ist. Das liegt daran, dass das Aneignen oder der Diebstahl bei fremden Kulturen oft aus uninformierter, oft unbewusster Respektlosigkeit geschieht. Ich glaube aber daran, dass mit aufrichtigem Respekt und durch breite Aufgeklärtheit über die jeweilige Kultur, eine Wertschätzschung anstatt einer Aneignung entstehen kann. Mich verbindet eine tiefe Liebe mit all den Orten, die ich besucht habe, und ich verpflichte mich jedes Mal dazu, die Menschen und ihre Kultur so gut und ehrlich wie möglich kennenzulernen. Das erste Kapitel von Zazi Vintage dreht sich um das Kuchi Dress, ein wunderschönes, traditionelles Afghanisches Hochzeitskleid. 

C-Heads X Zazi

Jeanne De Kroon

“The practical philosophy of ethics (which I feel passionate about), has taught me a lot about my responsibilities. That is, if I believe something is not right, then I need to see how I can change that within my capacity. From feminism to climate ethics, learning about these topics gave me the inspiration and motivation of what I want to change and why. I am very aware that I am just starting out with this company and need to continue with little steps, so that Zazi advocates the things that I truly know about: fashion, feminism and sustainability.”

I randomly met Jeanne ZIZI Margot de Kroon, founder and creative director behind the vintage label ZAZI, at Warschauer Strasse in Berlin, where I noticed her beautiful dress and complimented her on it. That´s when she began to tell me a part of her story. And about her project ZAZI, a fashion label trying to portray both sides in the best way: the producers and the buyers and connect them both somewhere in the middle. Even though the idea that we should know where our clothes come from is not something new and has been implemented by several companies already, there is something wonderfully unique about the ZAZI brand, also thanks to the charismatic founder and of course the ellaborate, traditional vintage clothing from all over the world. 

 

Tell us a how you came up with the idea of starting Zazi brand?

The idea for Zazi Vintage came after I started to connect a lot of dots in my life. From an early age, I’ve always thought of fashion, like art, as a medium to translate a message. The message that lies underneath. Fashion, as a platform, has the power to reach a huge audience, of which the majority is women, I feel it is about using the power for good, and sending out a message of unity and empowerment. Three years ago, I travelled to Nepal and got pulled in to a little cafe by a local woman in Kathmandu, she took me to her home and dressed me in an amazing ‘70s Bollywood blouse from India. She said it would give me superpowers, and somehow, it did.

After Nepal, I travelled from the Himalayas to India and I noticed that by wearing this blouse, I was sending out a signal that the local women there understood. It was a wish to connect to their culture and their stories. Seeing the power of a simple piece of material and the way in which it translates and communicates without words has inspired me to travel the world.

From wearing a ‘Netela’ (handmade Shawl/cloth) to communicate with the Ethiopian women that were in the project that I worked for, to wearing a blouse from the matriarchal societies of the desert in Gujarat, India, dressing a certain way has always broken the barriers between the women I met and I. During my last few days of travel in India, I came across some dresses from the Kuchi tribe and fell completely in love with them. When I got back to Germany I entered another intense semester at university full of human rights and business ethics. This inspired me to take my passion for vintage pieces to another level where all parties of the fashion chain would profit. The primary contacts I made all around the world were women, but unfortunately it can be hard for them to actually start up a business and become financially independent in patriarchal societies. That’s why I connected the idea of having local women worldwide opening their own businesses by buying vintage pieces from their areas, and connecting each area with a local NGO that supports women’s rights.

What have been the biggest challenges so far?

The biggest challenges so far have been doing all kinds of things for the very first time. Starting up my own business with a background of philosophy and ethics, I knew the reason why I’m doing it, but the translation of the why in to the how has been the biggest challenge so far. I had to learn how to do PR, code websites, organise photo shoots, invest in new projects, manage logistics and direct a company within a few months. Although I’ve had a lot of 14-hour workdays, if your inspiration and passion is strong enough, all these little challenges will flow and become little seeds for growth. The most beautiful little helpers always seemed to come on my path when I needed them. The whole journey of Zazi has been such a gift, that even when nothing comes out of it, I feel so incredibly blessed with all the women I have met on this path that share the same vision.

 “The women that buy Zazi should feel empowered because they are contributing to powerful projects while looking fabulous in incredible, one of a kind vintage pieces.”

How do you want to progress with Zazi in the next 5 years?

I am in the outskirts of India right now for a very special project. I noticed after some time and many Skype conversations with our collectors that having only one girl to collect vintage is a beautiful thing, but I would love to make a bigger impact than just one girl. I had the idea of making a collection out of landfill waste combined with traditional vintage for quite some time. That’s when Madhu walked across my path. Madhu is one of the strongest women I have ever met. She was married to be a housewife in Rajasthan, India, when she came across a very conservative village in an area near the desert and decided to make a change. She learned English within a few years and with the help of American universities she started her own NGO called Institute for Philanthropy and Humanitarian Development (IPHD). IPHD is an organisation that is tackling all the challenges that women in the rural areas of India face. Twenty-five of the women she rescued from the village were mostly kept indoors by their husbands and didn’t have any opportunities to grow, to learn or to earn any income.

These women are incredibly powerful and the only thing this organisation needed was the opportunity to work for the women. Madhu recruits students to organise classes on feminism, teaches them how to use an old sewing machine, provides menstrual hygiene and health workshops and even teaches them how to grow their own vegetables so they become less dependent on big corporations and the monsoon season. The main aim is independence for the women, in every aspect of the word. Now, Madhu and I have been collecting old traditional vintage from the rural villages around the area to integrate them with the Western fashion market by making a collection, all of which will be sewn and embroidered by the ladies of the village. I hope that Zazi can set up and work with many projects like this in different countries so that there will be timeless collections using landfill waste and traditional vintage while giving the local women there the opportunity to earn a good wage and build their financial independence.

You studied philosophy. In what way is that useful for what you are doing now?

My philosophy studies have been helping me with every step I have taken in this Zazi journey. Although I mostly study old texts within a very old and outdated (In my opinion) framework of Philosophy world, it does give me a strong basis. You start to explore the limitations and freedom of the mind and its capacity to create and formulate reality. What mostly stops people from doing stuff, is fear. Philosophy teaches you that there is nothing to be scared about. Whether it comes out of the Upanishads, the fancy words of Hegel, french existentialism, of your local yoga teacher, they all say the same. You have the power to create your own reality. So all that is left is finding out what you believe in. For me, I believe that fashion and the connections we make through it should empower, on all sides of the chain. Rukiya, for example, from the village that I work with now, should feel empowered by earning her own wage, being able to put her kids in school and by easily working from home. I feel empowered as the middle woman, making the connection between a tiny village in the desert of India and the West. I feel the responsibility to tell both sides of the story. The women that buy Zazi should feel empowered because they are contributing to powerful projects while looking fabulous in incredible, one of a kind vintage pieces.

The practical philosophy of ethics (which I feel passionate about), has taught me a lot about my responsibilities. That is, if I believe something is not right, then I need to see how I can change that within my capacity. From feminism to climate ethics, learning about these topics gave me the inspiration and motivation of what I want to change and why. I am very aware that I am just starting out with this company and need to continue with little steps, so that Zazi advocates the things that I truly know about: fashion, feminism and sustainability.

 

“Success, again, depends on the meaning that you are giving to it. Zazi is not a company looking to maximize its profit. I want every part of my job to give me something, and for the people that I work with to leave with a smile.”

You were also modelling for a bit, but you told me it was not so much your thing. What is nevertheless the valuable things that you learned from that time?

I learned so much from my modelling experiences. Most importantly, that modelling was not my path. I loved telling a story with imagery but not a story that I didn’t believe in. After my last job for a big unethical company, I decided that this whole modelling thing wasn’t for me. I worked in a project advocating for female rights, and then I was modelling for a big company which, I’d learnt through my studies, was exploiting women on the other side of the world. So my beliefs became clearer: if you know, then you have the responsibility to say no.

Money comes and goes and I want to be proud of what I am doing. In a very practical sense, I always organise my shoots in the way I personally would have loved to shoot: analog, no hair or make up team, and no stylist. I’m in the kitchen for an hour before every shoot preparing healthy and yummy food for the models and make sure that the team is awesome and easy going. I also always give the models the option to become ambassadors or share their story with the pictures, since every model that I work with becomes part of the clothing’s story.

Success versus enjoying the moment. Is it possible to be successful and at the same time live this very popular philosophy of these days “to live in the moment”?

I think within Zazi the two pretty much melted in to each other. Success, again, depends on the meaning that you are giving to it. Zazi is not a company looking to maximize its profit. I want every part of my job to give me something, and for the people that I work with to leave with a smile. Success for me is seeing one of my favourite Berlin based DJs (Hannah Martha van Straaten) playing a set in one of Zazi’s dresses, and afterwards using that purchase to give power to another lady in the outskirts of the desert by providing her with an opportunity to rise out of poverty.

Photography by Shannon May Powell www.instagram.com/shannonmaypowell
Models are Tessa www.instagram.com/tessa.westerhof
Jennifer www.instagram.com/jennifergilmore
Nina and Julia

 

Indigo Sparke X Zazi

Jeanne De Kroon

Meet our Gorgeous and light filled beauty from Australia. We proudly present you: 

Indigo Sparke X Zazi 

 

My name is Indigo! Scarlet Sparke ...yes, it's real and not my BM playa name. My parents got a little carried away 😊 I grew up spending a lot of time in the country in Australia, then moved to the city and have spent the past few years moving around a lot a lot. Now the little town of Mullumbimbi (right near Byron Bay) is my home... for now. I don't think I'll ever be able to shake the gypsy from my bones. There's to much yearning inside of me!

What do you do in life?

I sing. I write. I dance in love. I excavate sorrow. I study the human condition. I teach yoga. I continually remind myself to surrender. I tell stories. I laugh. I cry. A lot. I dress up! I listen. I watch the world go by. I swim in the ocean. A lot. I hope and I pray.

 What do you like about vintage clothing?

I love love love the stories. The tales woven into. The threads of life, spun and coloured and stitched. To adorn and make splendid. These stories are ancient and there is wisdom within each artwork. A release in their craft, specific to tribe, religion, gender, spirituality, consciousness, social construction, folk lore. It's all there. I love that. I like to touch, feel, smell... Tethered and unique like the souls that wear them.

 Why do you want to support ZAZI?

I have always been drawn to things without a completely logical reason, much like how Jeanne and I met. I have been passionate about women's empowerment for... my whole life really and when I found a kindred soul recognition in another strong woman making big choices and changes in the world out of pure integrity and heart, everything in my spirit says YES! Aside from that, the pieces are incredible art pieces selected my hand, made by hand, travelling with their stories and the opportunities that are provided for underprivileged women mainly in India and this stage but soon around the world is so so important. A whole world opens for these women. We can also be reminded how lucky we are, and choose to be humbled by these lives we given this time around. 4. Why is women empowerment important to you? Intrinsically, as women, in our veins the rivers of life, run deep, connected to a greater energy, a vast source of light and untainted love. This world, mankind, has for centuries disempowered women, taken away their rights, their voices, their bodies. To have and to own. In the last few centuries things have begun to shift more than ever and there is a surge of women who are taking a stand. It's one of the most important things to me to see women standing, unapologetically, for themselves. Free without fear for their safety. Able to dance and sing and walk the earth remembering and sharing their stories and ancient wisdom. It's a global sisterhood and support for one another is imperative in a time of war and decay. To heal the world through love, may sound like a grand statement, but women have a deep knowing I'm their bones of this to be true. I realised as a young girl how much the lives of women all over the world differed. Though I wasn't brought up in a rich ($$) family with lots of things, I have and had a privileged life. I had my share of trauma like we all do in different ways. My wild was to much and I was labelled and silenced and suffocated by society ramming their distasteful rule book down my throat. Luckily for me, relatively early on in life, I found my craft and it saved me. My inner world where I learned to listen to myself and speak my own language. As women, I think the empowerment grows the more we share with each other. The more we care for each other in any way that we possibly can, with gentle and nurturing communication. There is a lot to be said for this. The judgement and comparison is old and doesn't serve anyone. There is bigger work to be done.

 Is there one woman, who has inspired you? How? (If not, what does inspire you in your life?)

Women all the time inspire me! I find myself totally falling in love with women daily. But more specifically, my mother, my sister, and some very very dear sisters that I spend most days with or talking to. Their minds, their hearts, their love. It inspires me beyond belief. The poetry in existence. Their fragility and their strengths. Their vulnerability. Their yearnings, desires, hopes. That to me is like the air I breathe. Inspiring. Like an infinite ocean of light. I couldn't keep walking if it wasn't for them.

If you had one superpower – which one would it be? And what would you use it for?

Whoa! Hmmmm. That's a hard one. Well these protests at Standing Rock have been on my mind a lot. So perhaps if I was able to somehow, make the only truth known in everyone's minds and hearts, to be of respect to our Earth and that renewable energy solar energy was the only way forward I would plant that seed! Is that mind control? Hahaha And maybe to be a mermaid... or to fly! Freely like a bird 😊

When do you feel strong?

When I am nourishing myself. Meeting my needs. When I am practising, in many ways. My spiritual practice appears more and more these days and many shapes. When I'm listening to my soul. When I am speaking my truth. When I am standing in compassion. And dancing in love.

 If you could send one message to all the girls and women out there: what would you say?

Don't apologise for who you truly are. You are so incredibly perfect. Be kind to one another, it will change EVERYTHING. Dance wildly. Love deeply. Speak loudly. Tread lightly. Listen to the silences. Be in nature, it's the greatest healer and teacher. Have faith. Ask for help when you need it, there is no weakness in this. Give freely. Receive without shame or guilt. Honour your sacred light. Your body an your soul was always yours, they never owned it, nor will they ever. For eternity. Trust.

https://www.instagram.com/indigosparke/

Dresses on the Picture: The Coven Shoppe.  Conscious Concept Space Shoppe 1 | 105 Stuart St Mullumbimby NSW Australia

Dresses on the Picture: The Coven Shoppe. 

Conscious Concept Space Shoppe 1 | 105 Stuart St Mullumbimby NSW Australia