Dana Alikhani & Tatiana Casiraghi
Of Brazilian-Colombian origin, Tatiana Casiraghi was born in New York and raised in Switzerland and Paris. Tatiana attended the American University in London, gaining her Bachelor of Fine Arts degree in Visual Communications, with a concentration in photography, in 2005. Following positions at the AEFFE fashion house in New York, with creative director Giovanni Bianco, and at Vanity Fair, Tatiana has developed a renowned fashion sensibility, which she now uses to curate the Muzungu Sisters selections. She lives in London with her husband, three young children and two dogs.
Dana Alikhani began travelling the world at an early age. Though Iranian, she was born and raised in Cyprus. At the age of 17, she moved to London, where she earned a Bachelor of Arts degree in Social Anthropology from SOAS, University of London. Dana continued her studies in New York, at Columbia University. There, while studying for a Master’s degree in Human Rights, she focused her attention on ethical labour practices, an interest that eventually led her to the founding of Muzungu Sisters. Before the launch of Muzungu Sisters in 2011, Dana held positions at the United Nations High Commission for Refugees (UNHCR), at the Human Rights Watch in New York, and as a Middle East political analyst for a global business risk consultancy in London. She lives in London with her husband and three young children.
Muzungu Sisters is Dana Alikhani and Tatiana Casiraghi, friends since 2002 and business partners since 2011.
THE MEANING OF MUZUNGU
The word Muzungu is originally Swahili, meaning 'wanderer' or 'traveller.' Early European travellers were often referred to in this manner throughout eastern and central Africa. 'Muzungu' is now a term used in everyday African parlance to refer to foreigners, or white people.
Muzungu Sisters strives to uphold cultural respect and social responsibility, abiding by the principle of leaving behind no 'human footprint'. "We guarantee responsible sourcing practices and do our utmost to ensure that all our suppliers are treated in accordance with internationally recognised standards of human rights'.
Their producers are varied: some are individuals who are taught their craft as a means of empowerment or income; other represent entire families of artisans who have inherited their skills from previous generations. 'In any case, many of our items represent the sole means of revenue for the artisans and others in their communities.' By exposing their products to an international audience and new markets, Muzungu Sisters is able to guarantee that the artisans sustain their personal and communal livelihoods in a manner that respects their own cultural practices. While all our producers may not have fair-trade certification, Muzungu SIsters' close ties with the craftsmen allow them to ensure that fair labour practices are sustained throughout the supply chain. All of the artisans they work with are directly paid a living wage for the goods they produce for them.