Beauty & Style
Krizmah, an up and coming accessory brand, recently unveiled its second handbag collection by the name of ‘My Secret Garden’. Seeking inspiration from the arts and handicrafts of Chitral, the handbags fuse urban modern culture with traditional color, design and embroidery that the valley is known for. The brand is the brainchild of the designer duo, Zainab Alam and Nadia Malik, both of whom are graphic design graduates from the National College of Arts.
With the brand’s first collection coming out in 2011, Krizmah launched ‘My Secret Garden’ at the end of 2012 with two back to back exhibitions, organized at the Argentinean embassy in Islamabad and a contemporary art gallery in Karachi. Both exhibitions helped the brand garner appreciation from the attendees, who showed a keen interest in the fine skills of Chitrali women.
Comprising a total of twenty two handbag designs, ‘My Secret Garden’ is reminiscent of therich folklore associated with the ancient kingdom of Chitral. Vibrant use of color such as red, yellow and green blended with peacocks, cavalry depictions and floral motifs narrate a story filled with exuberance, as they are proudly incorporated on the face of Italian leather handbags, clutches and shoulder bags.
Zainab Alam, a co-designer for the collection, said some of the pieces took up to eight weeks to be made with over 130,200 stitches. “Krizmah is definitely a fashion brand – with a social conscience”, she added while elaborating the brand’s mission statement. According to her the collection did not just feature bags but finely stitched pieces of art with a rich history of cultural heritage.
“’My Secret Garden’ is based on that little, hidden place inside each of us where we all retreat to when dreaming,” Alam said while referring to Krizmah’s latest collection. “It is this secret place where our ‘Tree of Dreams’ blossoms and where the ‘Free Spirit’ of ‘Love’, ‘Prosperity’ and ‘Luck’ blooms. It is where our ‘Karma’ and ‘Destiny’ are altered.”
Echoing Alam’s words, the brand’s co-creator Nadia Malik regarded Krizmah as a socially conscious elite brand. “We wanted to alleviate the difficult circumstances women in Chitral face financially by empowering them and harnessing their artistic potential”, she explained while describing the brand’s aim to establish itself as a socially responsible enterprise.
Krizmah operates in association with Mogh, an organization that helps empower rural women through their traditional art. The brand is currently responsible for providing livelihood to 800 women in Chitral and pays them per piece so as to encourage their financial independence. Moreover, the label gives back to the Chitrali community by educating the artisans’ daughters.
‘My Secret Garden’ collection currently retails between Rs. 14000-35000 per piece. Although premium priced for most women in Pakistan, there is no denying the quality and class of the designs and fabric used. Would you buy one of these beautiful designer bags and help the women of Chitral?