Designer Nafsika Skourti’s Clothes Are Made to Transcend Borders

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Jordan isn’t a fashion capital—yet—but give Nafsika Skourti a few years. The native designer is getting style cred for her home country with an eponymous new brand that seams together the country’s rich history and its bright global potential.

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“We think of Jordan as a childhood best friend,” explains Nafsika, who co-founded the line with her sister Stephanie. “You were close when you were 7, but [now] you’re completely different people. Being back in Jordan after studying [at Central Saint Martins in London and L’école Lesage in Paris] is a bit like that. On one hand, I am referencing a culture that is so familiar and unchanging. On the other, I am constantly finding beauty [by] mixing it with my contemporary point of view.”

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“Building a brand in Jordan has come with challenges, but also successes for our community,” adds Stephanie, a former lawyer and alum of Goldman Sachs. “Pattern-cutters, models, photographers and stylists are very limited [in Jordan]… We work with the raw talent here, and help them grow.” That includes their atelier, which includes both local artisans and refugee women who learn expert embroidery and handiwork techniques.

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The label’s success is a delicate balance: They’re creating clothes for modern global women in a place with strict, and strictly enforced, dress codes.

But the label’s success is a delicate balance: They’re creating clothes for modern global women in a place with strict, and strictly enforced, dress codes. (On our trip to the country’s famous Citadel, Stephanie herself was stopped by local police because of her mid-length skirt, which exposed part of her legs.) Consider this: While their “Jerusalem” jacket recently got acquired by London’s Victoria & Albert Museum for being cool and inherently political, similar pieces were seized by Jordanian customs for being “controversial”—in other words, for being cool and inherently political.

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“The internet created an extra dimension of connection, [so now] borders do not matter.”

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For now, the sisters embrace and acknowledge the challenge. “As a brand that celebrates sexy, we are defying cultural norms for our part of the world and challenging global perceptions [of Jordanian women],” says Nafsika. “Differences can only be addressed through a real dialogue… The internet created an extra dimension of connection, [so now] borders do not matter.” But whether you’re wearing them in Amman or Chicago, Nafsika Skourti’s pieces definitely do.

To shop the collection visit nafsikaskourti.com

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