"Chicest Bargain Bags: Zwina Habibi"
Lisa Armstrong for the Telegraph
By using modern design combined with traditional production processes we aim to preserve Moroccan craftsmanship and open up a market otherwise inaccessible to the artisans. In years to come we would love to see Zwina Habibi branch out into other North African and Middle Eastern countries, uniting many under one peaceful umbrella.
The bags and shoes can be taken from workspace to nightclub, from festival field to swanky soiree. Each piece comes with personality and panache – to be worn with a bit of spark...
Zwina is a colloquial Moroccan Arabic word for an endearing and enchanting woman. Habibi is used with similar affection and means ‘loved one,’ when referring to a man.
We chose these words simply for their positivity and Moroccan charm. They perfectly symbolise the upbeat and loving nature we exemplify in our North African venture.
We want to support and enhance the creativity and expertise of as many individual Moroccan artisans as possible. We use only the highest quality leathers and fabrics, hand picked by us from sellers within the souk.
No two Zwina Habibi items are the same. Each bag or pair of shoes comes with its own slight differences reflecting the personality of the individual who made them.
We reject mass production - it reduces the quality of craftsmanship and originality and forces wages to unacceptably low levels.
We look after our Moroccan producers so that they can develop and then pass on their knowledge to future generations.
Please see our Artisans page for interviews with our craftsmen.
We began our process by trial and error, testing out what the Moroccan souk had to offer us. Once we were happy that we had found talented and passionate people to work with, we hatched our business plan and from there, Zwina Habibi took form.
We now collaborate, connect and co-create with local artisans to meld together European aesthetic specifications and the flair and vibrancy of the Moroccan spirit to create a final product that makes both parties happy.
We keep our costs low by cutting out shops, warehouses and middlemen which means we can give more money to the people actually making the pieces and charge fair prices to our customers.
Zwina Habibi was set up by Grace Elliston in 2016. Her ever-evolving love of Morocco and the friendships formed with the Moroccan people she works with continue to inspire each new collection.
Alongside ZH Grace works as an acupuncturist in London - Grace Elliston Acupuncture.