Carla immersa nei colori dei filati che utilizza per gli accessori Ninouche des Iles

A Conversation with Carla: Ninouche des Iles, Where Buttons, Colors, and Social Impact Meet

Get to know the vibrant world of Ninouche des Iles, where buttons transform into gems, and vibrant colors come alive. Carla shares her journey, weaving her craft with a strong social impact in mind.
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How did you start your craft? When did your brand come into being?

I had been working with Morocco for over 20 years when I discovered the world of buttons for caftans, a multifaceted universe born from ancient and complex techniques. I come from a family of painters, so the sense of color runs deep in my veins. Plus, I'm a natural tinkerer. The pandemic and turning 60 changed my perspective, aligning an idea with a goal: to highlight this incredible technique (using buttons as if they were precious stones) and provide autonomy to the women who make them.

What's your favorite product you've created so far? Why?

I adore all the models inspired by classic jewelry, as if they were grandma's jewels, with the incredible twist of button shapes and colors. So, the Porquerolles earrings with a stud setting and barrel pendant, much like the 1800s, the Torcello bracelets with cassette clasps from the 1940s, and the Capri necklaces with double settings at three diameters.

Where can people find your products?

I have a microscopic production distributed in Italy, Morocco, and France. I prefer to exhibit in small galleries and concept stores where the focus is on the uniqueness and particularity of the items on display. Zamalabz and Tornosubito have made visibility and customer interaction possible for me, which was unthinkable before. They also provide a concrete showcase in Milan, the most important city for my line of work.

How do you choose the names of your products?

Ninouche des Iles was invented by a friend, inspired by John Donne's verse "no man is an island," which encapsulates the essence of my project. From there, selecting names for the products was easy; our world is a sea full of islands.

How do you engage in ensuring sustainability and a positive social impact in your business? Is there anything unique or noteworthy you'd like to share with our readers about your products?

Sustainability doesn't really exist; I do nothing but take planes and ship things here and there. But the social impact is significant. I've managed to involve women who had hardly ever left their homes, and it wasn't easy. Many are illiterate, none speak French, and I'm struggling to learn Arabic. But... many of them now take taxis, and they pay for them, to attend our meetings. One even bought herself a scooter, and all have installed WhatsApp and recruit among their neighbors. No woman, as I mentioned, is or should be an island.

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