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Behind the Label | Doreen Mashika

Zanzibar based and Tanzania-born designer Doreen Mashika is a true globetrotter. Inspired by the island and continent she calls home, Doreen is constantly infusing her eco?friendly collection with a cool, worldly vibe. Check out Doreen?s sartorial style, which combines the best of African traditional style with a contemporary twist.

Zanzibar based and Tanzania-born designer Doreen Mashika is a true globetrotter. Inspired by the island and continent she calls home, Doreen is constantly infusing her eco?friendly collection with a cool, worldly vibe. Check out Doreen?s sartorial style, which combines the best of African traditional style with a contemporary twist. 

 

 

How does travel inspire your collection?

Travel is a constant source of inspiration for me. Where ever I go I see things that inspire me. It could be an interesting print seen in a market stall in London, a beautiful blue African sky, or a piece of art hanging in a New York gallery. I took inspiration for my current collection from a recent Safari trip to Tanzania?s Serengeti National Park. In my current collection you will note a nod to the Maasai people through Cow Horn Jewelry, Maasai Bracelets, and beaded pieces, which have all been ethically sourced and produced here on the continent Africa.

 

It is of paramount importance that when we produce these items we do not neglect the cultural values of the Maasai in addition to the delivery of a global direction. Across Africa, I am always inspired by beautiful bold prints with a mix of crystalized ornaments, which reflects the rich history of Oman and Zanzibar. Through travel, I have adapted my brand accordingly and the Doreen Mashika ?Must Have Accessories? was born.

 
 
 
 
Describe the DM brand in 3 words.
-Ethical: We build a mutual relationship of respect with our suppliers, fair wages and prices, healthy working conditions and understanding where our raw materials come from. We ask ourselves: Did the environment suffer? What measures were taken to protect the environment and its people?
 
-Detailed: The attention to detail is prominent in our work. But beyond the appeal of the products, we always strive to create a brand that is ethical and eco-conscious.
 
-Classic: Our designs mix modern contemporary shapes with a classic twist. We never want the DMZ client to be limited. We want everyone at any age to find elements of themselves in our collection.
 
 
 
 
 
Your collection of products keeps growing. What creative endeavors are on the horizon?
The DMZ brand has always been known for the high-summer pieces. I am extremely excited to show my clients what I have been developing for Winter 14\15 all pieces Made in Africa.
 
 
Who is your muse? Describe the woman who wears DM.
I am inspired by the many different sources of global beauty. The Doreen Mashika woman is style conscious, with her finger on the pulse of fashion. She is globally interconnected with a love for all things beautiful. She mixes designer brands with bespoke one-off pieces and always likes to be a key influencer over her peers. She is a key opinion-former and, most of all, a trend leader.
 
 
 
 
 
Tell us about your favorite piece and where you were inspired to create it.
My favorites are the African print designer handbags. Last year I was at a three-day wedding --each day had in African print theme. How inspiring I found it! And the next day, I was busy choosing my color palettes in a busy market in Congo. It was the mood of my trip which dictated the colors and prints instead of what fashion editors say what color we should wear in 2014. DM will always have that personal twist.
 
 
 
 
What are your upcoming summer travel plans?
Being located and working in a prestigious destination such as Zanzibar, it's not easy to choose where to go next! I always start at a resort, followed by a Safari. I absolutely love the bush. I would love to share what I have under the sleeve this year -- Switzerland. For the first time, my children will learn how to ski, so Gstaad is definitely on the list. I think it will be very exciting and we are all very much looking forward to it!
 
 
 
 
Globtrotter Stats
Souk or department Sore?
I get asked, this question, a lot. Of course I love a Souk for those one off pieces that no body else will have. However, I really adore an eclectic mix of styles so I usually team with garments from a department store. I know I am supposed to pick one or the other, but, for me, its both!
 
 
DIY or Concierge Service?
Location dependent, but usually DIY.
 
Buy everything or nothing?
Being based in Zanzibar, I have access to variety of items but some items in terms or international brands are rather limited. As a result, the shopping attitude is ?Buy now, or ? Never! Having said this, I love to shop and often take my time to decide in order of priorities. ?Must Haves? I would purchase with immediate effect and, the rest ? well ? these items can wait.
 
Camping or 5 star hotel?
I spend a considerable amount of time being based in the village and in the bush so there are times when I am crying out for a little piece of luxury. I much prefer smaller boutique hotels that reflect the personal style of the accommodating country.
 
Drive or be Driven
Across Africa, the safest and swiftest means of transportation is most certainly ? to be driven.
 
Room Service or Street food?
I love nothing better than to sample local delicacies at the street food markets but, there is also a time and a place for room service. Especially when arriving at a hotel after a long flight!
 
Lots of luggage or Carry on Bags?
Oh dear, I am afraid I am one of those people that carries a lot of luggage. Usually, my collection accompanies me in many, many, many pieces of luggage. All matching, of course!  

 

 

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