Born in 2008, as a personal pact between Farah Malik, a Pakistani Muslim, and Dana Arbib, a Libyan Jew, A PEACE TREATY creates employment for skilled artisans working in places of socio-political strife, effectively supporting their technique and craft while elevating their products to the level of high design for an exclusive and international fashion audience.
Inspired by the hand-crafting cultures of the Middle East, Asia, South America and Africa, A PEACE TREATY was conceived when Arbib and Malik met while living in Rome. The two discovered that they shared both a love of high fashion and a desire to increase awareness of ancient, disappearing crafting traditions. Intermingling Arbib’s humanitarian upbringing and her background in graphic, textile and product design with Malik’s history of developing multimedia marketing campaigns for social change and human rights as well as her training in ancient Roman jewelry and gold-smithing, they set about connecting discerning fashion connoisseurs with cache, boutique level artifacts from places typically seen only negatively through the media lens.
Each season, A PEACE TREATY travels to a particular region and sets up intervention projects with local village artisans. The resulting four to six yearly collections of scarves and jewelry, re-define and modernize ancient handmade textile and metalsmithing techniques that are at risk of extinction. Working with master craftsmen in nine countries, Pakistan, India, Nepal, Turkey, Afghanistan, Bolivia, Peru, Ecuador and the US, the line injects life and trade back into local economies and creates income-generation opportunities for out-of- work artisans. Collections have uplifted handmade techniques like embroidery, weaving, natural dip-dyeing, woodblock printing, knitting, indigo and mud printing, camel bone carving, hand enameling and stone setting. A PEACE TREATY’s social enterprise approach has helped to kick-start small, family-run village businesses that had been shut down or were suffering due to competition with factory-based manufacturing. A component of the company’s mission also includes women’s social empowerment as it employs disabled and widowed women in villages, bringing work to their homes.
Since its inception A PEACE TREATY has designed an exclusive line for Rugby Ralph Lauren and has been seen on shows like Gossip Girl and HBO’s Girls as well an array of celebrities including Halle Berry, Jennifer Lopez and Gwen Stefani. The founders have received accolades and invitations from the White House and the World Bank and educational institutions like Parson’s School of Design and Princeton University as well as various media outlets from the Financial Times and Forbes to Vogue Paris and Good Magazine.