I followed lanterns down a dark path, past moon-white bouganvillia billowing from the rooftop, candelabras hanging from olive trees, through simple, perfect arches and into some kind of enchantment the spell of which has never let me go. This is how I met Meryanne 22 years ago in the palm groves outside Marrakech, sensing in every turn of our conversation, a friend for life.
Meryanne took me into the heart of the souks where she had opened a restaurnat, book store, boutique, and there I met Nawal, manager and conjurer of magic. LIttle did I know that 20 years later, Nawal would escort me to her home village where women embroider the magic I loved, and would do so for Ibu, like the midnight velvet jackets you see unveiled here today.
LIttle did I know that I would return to Marrakech year after year to deepen these ties with Nawal and Meryanne like sisters of my heart.
So, in one more of those rich moments in this long friendship, I have invited Meryanne Loum-Martin to speak with me via Instagram Live this Friday. The occasion is the publication of her recent book, Inside Marrakesh,already in a second printing at Rizzoli a month and a half since release. We see inside the houses of Marrakesh where the fusion of diverse cultures is the energy that inspires everything.
Meryanne is the essence of that fusion. You'll learn why.
Friendship is a hothouse at its best - a place where fragile dreams and possibilities are tended, setbacks find solace, and courage finds a companion. Meryanne was the first to believe I had an artful eye and put a stake in that design future for me before I could imagine it - or Ibu - myself. And now, to turn to my muse and friend and Face of Ibu and to celebrate her accomplishments is my immense joy.
Join me Friday at 11 EST on Instagram LIve @ibumovment to meet Meryanne. Give her book to those style afficiandos you love. Keep one for yourself. And slip on a Midnight Velvet jacket from Nawal and her friends in Ourika. You'll feel the magic, I swear.
Susan Hull Walke