Muzungu Sisters was launched in 2011, with an online store and a month long London pop-up.
The concept for Muzungu Sisters was born in 2009, when founders and friends, Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Santo Domingo, were living in New York. Dana, finishing a master's degree in human rights at Columbia University, wanted to create an online retail portal that would promote fair labour practices by showcasing artisan-crafted goods.
Tatiana, with a refined eye for style and a keen interest in travel, had been thinking of curating a website that would feature carefully sourced items discovered during her adventures abroad. By merging their ideas and passions, Dana and Tatiana created the revolutionary concept of providing the global online retail market with exclusive products handcrafted in a sustainable manner, by local artisans from diverse cultures. In promoting Muzungu Sisters products, Dana and Tatiana shine a light on the rare artistry found in artisan communities, stimulate those local economies, and encourage consumers to view artisan-crafted goods as wearable items that never go out of style.
Muzungu Sisters currently offers ethically-sourced handmade luxury, produced by 17 different artisan communities across four continents. Muzungu Sisters has curated travelling pop-up shops around the world in over eight countries from Beirut to Los Angeles, showcasing their wares.
Collaborations with Missoni (2012), Delphine Delafon (2013) Olympia Le-Tan (2015), La Coqueta (2017), Magnentic Midnight (2017), Urania Gazelli (2018), and Noor Fares (2018) have further enhanced Muzungu Sisters' collection of classics.
In October 2014 at the United Nations Secretariat in New York, UN NGO Women Together awarded Muzungu Sisters with their annual Fashion for Development Award for bringing artisan-crafted fashion to the forefront of international consumer trade. Previously, in 2012, Muzungu Sisters received Spain’s TELVA magazine annual Fashion Sustainability and Solidarity Award.
The Seven-Year Itch
Since becoming mothers, Tatiana and Dana have chosen to limit their travels across the world, although they continue to support and rely on their existing artisan families in 17 different communities, that are responsible for producing the Muzungu Sisters Classics collection.
As Muzungu Sisters has evolved over the years, the natural trajectory of the brand has led to Dana and Tatiana's decision in 2018 to design wearable, artisan-crafted pieces that they want to wear themselves; pieces that are suited to their now busy lives in the city, but still work well with their staples of statement jackets, kaftans and woven baskets.
Dana and Tatiana have spent many months developing the materials and designs for Muzungu Sisters new collections, designing bespoke organic cotton and linen fabrics, and sustainably printed OEKO-tex certified silk, always ethically hand-embroidered and handwoven by artisan communities.
Muzungu Sisters pieces are timeless heirlooms that are designed to be kept for generations. We have held this conviction since day one, and we have never forgotten it. We have traveled across the world to find the most unusual, beautiful, sustainable, fabrics; the best embroiderers, weavers, and ateliers. Our items never go out of style, and are designed to be worn year after year.