Ibu was early in the field to collaborate with artisan partners crafting high-end designs. With each collection, the Ibu Studio team works with a select group of artisans to design silhouettes that amplify traditional textile techniques from all over the world, uniquely offered at Ibu. Each piece has its own story, but all have the same goal: to change women’s lives by elevating their skills, respecting their lives, and dignifying their work.
The Morocco Collection
In Morocco, women carry a long tradition of crafting knotted buttons and complex soutache embroidery which spill down the front of djellabas of their country. Ibu Studio collaborates with the Cherry Button cooperative in Sefrou and a group of skilled women in Ourika to construct and embellish our signature Moroccan Jacket, caftans, and dresses with their poetic artistry. Available year round in linen, cashmere, and velvet, the Moroccan collection brings an adventurous, mysterious sensibility to classic western silhouettes.
The Ikat Collection
The ancient tradition of ikat dyeing is perfected in the lush Fergana Valley of Uzbekistan. Silk and cotton threads are spun, counted, bound, dyed in brilliant colors, and woven into the blurred patterns signature to ikat. Muhayo Alieva founded Bibi Hanum in Tashkent to construct dramatic colorful clothing with ikat fabric. Ibu Studio collaborates with Muhayo and women in Fergana to offer vibrant global glamour, amplifying a long and noble tradition.
The Silk-Felt Collection
The seven Sharshembieva sisters remember watching their grandmother lay felted patterns down to make carpets as she explained the legends held in each design. As nomads, the Kyrgyz used wool felting to depict totems of their tribe and keep yurts warm in the snowy mountains.The sisters took that heritage skill and innovated on silk, creating scarves and apparel which Ibu Studio has customized in splendid silhouettes.
The Embroidery Collection
The rural women of Pakistan carry a wealth of heritage embroidery skills in dozens of styles, executed in a hoop or a tautly-stretched frame around which five to six women gather to stitch. Samina Mahmud is an accomplished designer who founded SheWorks to celebrate this craft and the women who carry it forward. In close collaboration with the Ibu Studio, Samina works with five groups of 20–25 women, stretching the boundaries of their skills, innovating and, at the same time, preserving their signature stitches.
The Indigo Collection
The magic of Indigo dyeing served an important ritual role in the Meso-American culture of what is now El Salvador. Monica Figueroa founded Bluetiful to rescue this natural tradition which was disappearing as a result of industrial practices, and to give work to women with few options in San Salvador. Collaborating with the Ibu Studio, this small group of women use a clamp resist technique and the mysterious properties of indigo to create wildly popular cotton dresses in new designs each spring.
The Beadwork Collection
Masai and Samburu women have perfected the artistry of beadwork and wear layers of their spirited jewelry with exuberance, great style, and a deep sense of community identity. Ibu is fortunate to collaborate with several of these localized communities in Kenya and Tanzania, one of which is BeadWORKS. Working to conserve natural resources and wildlife through self-governed, community owned conservancies, BeadWORKS makes it possible for women to earn real income while carrying forward their traditional, semi-nomadic lifestyles.