"Walk In Beauty" is a blessing given me by Native American artist, Pablita Velarde, when I first arrived in New Mexico in 1994. Now I understand that blessing and I do "walk in beauty" every day since I began designing "clothing to bring out the Goddess in you."
Since 2000, I have created fabulous clothing that helps women find the beauty within them, and I have found my own inner beauty in the process.
(I grew up thinking I was "plain".)
The most wonderful part of being Zandi is witnessing women blossom into their beauty. I design special clothes for women I've never met, who come in and discover a garment that was made just for them, and leave wearing their own beauty as well!
The Magic Mud Collection: made from handspun cotton from Mali
Since I was a little girl, I have always dreamed of going to Timbuktu... (Mom threatened to send me there when I was naughty!)
In Mali, I fell in love with the bold, geometric designs of the "mud cloth" created there. It is hand-spun cotton, dyed with the natural clay from the Niger River (hence the name "mud cloth." It is then hand-woven into strips on a back strap loom, and then the strips are sewn together to make larger textiles.
I created the "Magic Mud" collection according to the size and geometry of each textile. I have no patterns, and I make each piece by hand...working much the same way a sculptor does...letting the final piece emerge from the raw material. Magic Mud is all natural, all handmade; all wash and wear, trans-seasonal, free size (10-14). Each piece is unique, and one-of-a-kind.
After completing the garment, I usually embellish them with antique brass talismanic amulets from Pakistan or India...or with seashells or buttons or whatever else I have collected from my 25 years of traveling and collecting in third world countries.
In March 2000, I opened Gallery Nomad in Taos. (Before that, I had been Gallery Nomad in Sydney, Australia for thirteen years.)
In Dec 2000, I designed and launched "The Goddess Collection." Several garments incorporated the 19th Century gold embroideries I had carted around all those years. The Taos Country Club show was a resounding success, and my designs were bought by women from Boston to Florida, Texas to Colorado, and California!
The Lesson, ladies: "You are never too old to follow your dreams!"
In June, 2001, I designed my second collection, "Eye Candy," made from re-cycled vintage Indian textiles that I collected during my travels that year. The clothes are made by my long-time Indian friend, Madho, and his tailor, Mukesh.
On October 6, 2001, I opened my own boutique, still called Gallery Nomad because I am still very much a nomad)...but it features my collection of designs under my own label: "Zandi" Original Fashions.
This is me working with Yashey, a terrific production manager I met there.
Twenty-five years of travel in exotic places has afforded me the opportunity to collect rare pieces of antique embroidery and decorative ornaments that I am now able to express through my one-of-a-kind creations for the person who craves something totally unique. The result is practical clothing with a sense of the theatrical. Each design is chosen for it's comfort, beauty, and dramatic impact...but are also low in maintenance (wash and wear).
Remember my motto: 'Goddesses don't iron.'