mozh-mozh

Designer Mozhdeh Matin, founder of up-and-coming brand MOZH MOZH, is dedicated to preserving Peruvian textiles. While modernising customary styles, her garments remain distinctly traditional. Introducing age-old techniques and styles to an international audience, the Mozh Mozh aesthetic is very much design led with brightly coloured separates, woven bags and knit dresses highlighting the craftsmanship of local weavers and bringing a sense of adventure to fashion. For those interested in building a globally minded wardrobe, a piece from MOZH MOZH is a meaningful and fun addition.

Designer:

MOZH MOZH.

Origin:

Peru.

Homebase:

Lima, Peru.

Type of brand:

Womenswear, accessories.

Where can we find you?

We launched our eSHOP recently. Also at Maimoun in the US and Ron Herman Japan.

Where did you grow up?

I was born in the Peruvian Andes, then we moved to the coast.

When did you realise you wanted to be a designer?

I started making my own clothes when I was a teenager. It just didn’t make sense to me to wear the same things that everyone else did. I needed to express myself, but I didn’t want to study fashion. I went to art school first and all of my work was made with textiles. A few years later, I decided to study fashion.

How do Peruvian women view fashion?

Peruvian women dress based on the region they’re from. Everyone is proud of their heritage and wants to show it off visually. The textiles, dresses, hats, the flowers – everything has significance.

How do you interpret this for the global citizen?

I am constantly fascinated by the way people in Peru dress; by the artisanal work passed down from ancestors and how they combine colours in their outfits. I work with them developing textiles while emphasising form and detail in design.

Can you explain your design process from start to finish?

My collections are a lot about my life experiences, interests and travels. I start by visiting the women weavers or knitters around Peru and see what they are working on. Then I create swatches with them and I put it together back in my studio. We finish the garments in Lima.

 

Do you work closely with Peruvian artisans?

Oh, 200%. I have been developing relationships with different communities in Peru over the past 10 years – we very much work together. MOZH MOZH wouldn’t exist without them and this is very important to me as one of my purposes is to protect Peruvian textiles.

What materials do you use and where do they come from?

Everything is sourced locally, that’s the concept I want to work with. One of my challenges is developing fashion with 100% natural fibres such as baby alpaca, wool and cotton. Sometimes we use natural dyes and sustainable fur too.

What inspires your prints?

All of our fabrics are completely handmade. I collaborate with artisans to develop new colour combinations and shapes –the results are always a surprise!

What do you like about designing knitwear?

I started experimenting with knitwear in 2008. It has always been more magical for me to create the fabric from nothing than to buy it.

When did you decide to start designing accessories?

I never imagined myself designing accessories. I actually never liked knitted bags, but I saw this wonderful yarn that I felt it was perfect for bags and we start creating them in SS16. Now we work with different materials and techniques.

Three words to describe your aesthetic…

Chic, fun, arty.

How do your collections change seasonally?

I think is mostly with the experience but also has to do with new techniques I find interesting or new colour vibrations.

Why did you decide to show at London Fashion Week?

I was invited by the British Fashion Council – it actually took me by surprise.

Can you explain the history and traditions of Peruvian craftsmanship?

We have one of the oldest textile cultures in the world. When the Spanish conquered the Incas they preferred to let them take their gold before their textiles. They actually hid them because they were of so much more value. Their history was written in the iconography they worked on. These traditions were passed down the generations and some of us want to preserve them and sometimes even transform them into fashion.

Three of your favourite destinations in Peru…

I love the Amazon, so anywhere from Iquitos to Puerto Maldonado. Cusco is so magical too, while the north coast has the best food.

What does the future hold?

I hope we can build a caring MOZH MOZH community around the world.

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