Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi, wife of His Highness the Ruler of Sharjah, Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment, Founder and Royal Patron ofIrthi Contemporary Crafts Council, has launched the first international product line to feature the traditional Emirati craft of ‘Talli.’ Taking place at British luxury brand Asprey’s London boutique, the launch saw the unveiling of the ‘One Stitch at a Time’ collection of premium leather handbags, all of which incorporate Talli in their designs. The range is the fruit of a partnership between Asprey and Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council, a subsidiary of Sharjah-based NAMA Women Advancement Establishmentthat works to empower women socially, professionally and economically. “Today, we celebrate two important new achievements for Emirati Talli craftswomen – the incorporation of their unique traditional designs on a range of bespoke luxury handbags and their successful reach intoan importantnew international market. Traditional Emirati female artisans are a vital part of Emirati heritage and through ventures such as this,we seek to support all women artisans working in the industry, preserve their crafts, develop them and commercialise them. This is possible thanks to the incredible level of support from our leaders. We particularly thank Her Highness Sheikha Fatima bint Mubarak, Mother of the Nation,Chairwoman of the General Women's Union (GWU) andSupreme Chairwoman of the Family Development Foundation, as well as the Irthi Contemporary Craft Council, for their continuous and unstinting efforts in this regard,” said Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher bint Mohammed Al Qasimi.
Her Highness Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi praised the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council’sBidwa Social Development Programme, which initiated and oversaw the partnership with Asprey. Her Highnessemphasised the importance of continuing to empower Emirati women who work in the field of traditional handicrafts, helping them to keep their practices alive and enabling them to pass on their skills to future generations.Sheikha Jawaher acknowledged that the proceeds from the sale of the ‘One Stitch at a Time’ limited collection of handbags would be donated to the Bidwa Social Development Programme, thereby helping it to continue its efforts that support and empower female artisans in the UAE.The ‘One Stitch at a Time’launch event at Asprey’s flagship New Bond Street branch was attended by Sheikha Hour bint Sultan Al Qassimi, President of Sharjah Arts Foundation;HE AmeeraBinKaram, Deputy Chairperson of NAMA Women Advancement Establishment andChairperson of Sharjah Business Women Council;Noura Khalifa Al Suwaidi, Director General of GWU;Alya Al Mazroui, Wife of the United Arab Emirates Ambassador in United Kingdom;Haifa Fahoum Al Kaylani, Founder and Chairwoman of the Arab International Women's Forum; SawsanJaffar, Board Member of Friends of Cancer Patients; Noura Al Noman, Chairperson of the Executive Office of H.H. Sheikha Jawaher Al Qasimi and HE Reem Al Falasi, Secretary General of the Supreme Council for Motherhood and Childhood. A large audience of society ladies and businesswomen from the UK, UAE and Arab worldwere also present.The limited ‘One Stitch at a Time’ collection includes the hand-woven model 1781, which takes its designation from Asprey’s founding dateand has been expertly adorned with a type of Talli known as ‘Fetoul,’woven by artisan Ameina Mohamed Sharafaldeen. The Morgan Mini Sand Dune Bullskin handbag, for its turn, incorporates fresh palettes of Talliperfectly combined and incorporated by craftswomen Zehra Shaikh Ahmed and Shaikha Rashed Alyamahi.
The 1781 Mini Beach Hut Blue Lizard handbag is embellished with a selection of intricate Talli woven by lead artisan Fatimah Fareedin collaboration with Mariam Aziz Alrahman, Sendia Alyammahi and Fatima Mohamed Sawy, while the Belle Boathouse Blue Bullskin Sea Blue Nubuck is resplendent with its traditional diagonal striped Talli, exquisitely woven by Mariam Azizelrahman.The Darcy 30cm Boathouse Blue Pebble Crocodile handbag has a unique Talli design crafted by third generation artisan Bainah Alsereidi with the help of Aisha Ali Ahmed, Sayeeda Hussain and Mariam Alyamahi Fatimah Alsawi. Lastly, the Darcy Square Sand Dune Lizard handbag is adorned with Talli pieces traditionally known as ‘Sayer yaay’ & ‘Bu Khosah,’ with Emirati craftswomen Rabaa Salim Ali, Fatima Salah Abdelrahman and Maharelnisa Haider Abdelkhaliq responsible for its incredible level of detailing.“The Bidwa project, 'One stitch at a Time,' challenged us to incorporate a very traditional heritage craft in an innovative and imaginative way. Utilising Asprey's aesthetic and design capabilities, we were able to use the Emirati Talli to perfectly decorate the iconic styles that Asprey is renowned for. We are thrilled with the results of the collaboration.The launch event introduced this partnership perfectly and we are delighted with the positive and successful response received.We look forward to continuing our partnership with these highly talented Emirati artisans and the Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council for future charitable causes,” said Hilary Lewis, Director, Asprey Leather Goods.
Irthi Contemporary Crafts Council operates under the umbrella of Nama Women Advancement Establishment and supports Emirati craftswomen working in the field of traditional handicrafts. In addition to helping them hone their skills and improve the quality of their products, it is dedicated to encouraging them to use their talent gainfully by starting innovative projects in regional and international markets. The organisation’s ultimate aim is to generate a sustainable source of income for the women and to contribute totheir vocational and economic empowerment, which will improve their social stability, economic security and standard of living.Founded in 1781, Asprey is a byword for British luxury through its commitment to quality, refinement and innovation. The company’s leather products are renowned for their unique style, with each piece produced using only the finest materials and traditional techniques.