A family run business with a mother-daughter team leading the way, Sahara has always championed women supporting women. From the artisans of our very first community workshop in Bali to the loyal customers who frequent our boutiques, we are constantly inspired by the independent, free-spirited women around us every day. Every piece we make is designed to empower our customers to express their individuality while feeling confident and beautiful in their own skin at any age. As well as the Sahara brand, we proudly support a variety of other female-led brands as well as emerging female designers from all over the world. In honour of International Women’s Day, we have included an edit of some of these inspiring brands and the stories behind them.
Founded by Dutch silversmith Siska Schippers, Zsiska is a brand made by and for strong, elegant women who know what they want. Each of Zsiska’s unique and vibrant resin pieces is skillfully handcrafted in Thailand by a collective of women who have worked at the brand since its inception. Siska moved to Thailand in the 90’s and began a small design studio in the village of Cha-Am, employing 14 local women. Together, they experimented for two years, eventually building a mastery with the materials and forming the brand Zsiska. Today, the company has grown to 100 employees, including the original 14 women alongside many of their children and family members.
Working from a small studio in Athens, designer Alexandra Tsoukala creates her delicate, lightweight jewellery, home and lighting designs and otherworldly fashion pieces. A strong believer in trendless, minimalist design, Alexandra’s ethos is reflected in her work, as every piece of jewellery is hand-made with an intimate respect for form and function. Many of Alexandra’s pieces are constructed from a durable and elastic pleated satin fabric because she loves the way the pleats catch the light and move with the motion of the wearer, creating modern heirlooms that are truly made to last a lifetime.
After teaching art to children for 17 years, Daphne Stephenson made the brave transition to full-time artist, becoming one of the most sought-after naive primitive artists in Britain. Inspired by her early years living in Pakistan, as well as her travels across India, Africa and the Caribbean, Daphne’s work evokes exotic tropical scenes, leopards, birds of paradise and lush vegetation which can all be seen in her collection of stunning silk twill scarves. In her extensive travels Daphne developed a strong connection to the nature and wildlife that often take centre stage as the subjects of her work, and so she is a vocal activist for animal rights and supports the charity Animals of Asia.
Yavi in Sanskrit means “the conjoining of the heavens with the earth.” Founded by Yadvi Agarwal a graduate from National Institute of Design, Yavi’s designs pay tribute to both traditional and impressionist art and are inspired by Yadvi’s deep love of textiles and surface design. Growing up in India, Yadvi would wander the vibrant marketplaces of Delhi, searching for fabric to make her own clothing. These early experiences were formative in her obsession with textiles as well as her ability to blend tradition with contemporary design. Using signature hand-painted techniques to create impressionist details on traditional weaves, Yavi’s collections are full of depth, soul and imagination.
Inspired by applied arts and science, Greek designer Christina Brampti's contemporary jewellery is dynamic, edgy and fierce. Christina explains that “The way I see it, jewellery is above all a form of personal expression. A way of expressing yourself in the present; an opportunity to communicate. That is why most of my designs can be worn in several different ways, opening a sort of communication with the woman who chooses the pieces. I like to leave room for play, to leave space for imagination, so that everybody can transform the pieces I have already designed into something else.”
Renowned for creating beautiful, softly-draped pieces in luxurious natural textiles, Grizas is a brand which believes in making women feel great at any age or size. Grizas says that “Our brand is inspired by the limitless interpretation of freedom and individuality. The ability to express ourselves, be who we truly are and live life to the fullest is what we aim to inspire in every woman.” Designed for every woman, Grizas believes “fashion and self-expression have no boundaries.”