Twenty-five years ago, my then-almost-husband and I looped our way around the vast regions of Morocco, from faded pink cities to desert tents to blue-washed seaside towns; often lost, always in wonder. In the middle of one night, our realtor back home called to tell us our bid on a house we desperately hoped to buy had gone through, and because neither of us owned much of anything, we spent the remainder of the trip discovering local handmade ceramic tile tables, inlay furniture, vintage rugs, oversized pots, and of course lanterns to ship home, so that even today, I look around and see the enduring influence of that enchanted place in every room in which I live.
Over the years, I've returned frequently to visit friends and artisan partners, and despite witnessing change upon change, find the dazzling poetry of the place endures. What is it that so utterly enchants? Is it the candlelit lanterns under clear, deep skies, or the 1001 rugs spread on desert sand to welcome guests? Tented evenings in gardens swelling with bougainvillea, or the late afternoon light slanting through narrow lanes of the medina? The tattoos on the chins of Berber women, amulets cascading down their hair? Is it the snowy Atlas Mountains or the soaring arches which mimic them, the kind eyes of strangers, the early morning call to prayer? The tagine, the pigeon pie, the olives falling from heavy branches, the mounding cactus, the unrepeatable shade of Majorelle blue? Or is it the artisanal craft everywhere at play-intricate and brilliant?
When Charlotte Moss, Ibu Ambassador and designer extraordinaire, accompanied me to meet our partners in Ourika, we were both moved by their creative work as well as the restrictions women yet endure. We wanted to do more.
This year, Charlotte has returned to work her magic in a Spring Collection for Ibu, all of it drawn from our artisan partners in Morocco with whom she met. I'm thrilled to announce the debut of this collection and our International Women's Day Annual Event—a Moroccan Soirée—on March 6, 2024.
Even through the residue of the seismic earthquake, the women of Ourika have been needling their fine soutache on Charlotte's designs—caftans like this elegant one pictured, skirts, jackets, pants, and wraps—all in desert hues. Their fearless leader, Nawal el Hariti, will join us for the soirée fundraiser, as well as Charlotte, and many of the essential enchantments of this place are in store.
Tickets will go on sale on January 5 for A Night in the Medina. Call your friends now and plan to jump on those tickets when they go on sale—last March, many were disappointed to find the preferred tickets sold out in hours! It is poetry, indeed, when we come together to support this work, to reach for nothing less than the re-enchantment of the world.
All the Best,