Reyhane, now animate in a Frankfurt appearance workshop, grew up in banishment in Iran and accustomed in Germany at the acme of the refugee crisis in 2015. She was advantageous to get a job at the Stitch by Stitch workshop, an action launched by two bounded designers with the aim of bearing clothes for babyish German labels.
The all-women workshop, founded by appearance artist Claudia Frick and clear artist Nicole von Alvensleben, employs six refugees and one German seamstress. It is a win-win bearings for the refugees, who charge jobs, and the workshop, which needs staff.
“We are giving them a belvedere to appearance their skills,” says Nicole. “Companies generally accept difficulties hiring people. They [the refugees] appear from societies area handicrafts and added trades are still alive, and they appetite to do them.”
“There is a sisterly atmosphere here.”
Reyhane had been in Germany for six months aback Nicole and Claudia met her at a alms event. Reyhane was cutting a anorak that she had fabricated herself. “It had a ample collar and pockets,” says Claudia. “I said, ‘oh my God, she charge be acceptable if she has fabricated that herself.'” With that, Reyhane was hired.
Doing aggregate from bed-making on buttons to complicated tailoring, the women assignment for €9 an hour – 16 cents aloft Germany’s minimum wage. “We pay ourselves the aforementioned as the staff,” says Nicole. “This is not a sweatshop.”
“There is a sisterly atmosphere here,” says Claudia. “We allocution about everything.”
On affectation is a beautiful atramentous dress with a colourful pattern, commissioned by Heike Merkle, the buyer of the absolute Frankfurt characterization Death by Dress.
“Frankfurt may not be absolutely as active as Berlin,” says Nicole, “but there is a active appearance arena here. Customers appetite different clothes, absolute from the designer, instead of apparel from the alternation stores. It is a cottage industry for the 21st century.”
Claudia Frick (center left) helps Esraa (left), who fled Damascus. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
Esraa at assignment in the Stitch by Stitch workshop. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
Seamstress Anna Kossmann helps Esraa in the workshop. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
The all-women branch employs six refugees and one German seamstress. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
“We are giving them a belvedere to appearance their skills,” says Nicole. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
Reyhane, who fled Afghanistan, sews clothes in the workshop. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
Esraa, 21, and Reyhane, 25, booty a bout of Frankfurt. © UNHCR/Gordon Welters
Into this industry accept absolved accomplished refugees with appearance acquaintance in their home countries.
Before the war in Syria, Iman Khatibe, 40, had her own branch in Aleppo, area she mainly fabricated bells and atramentous dresses, as able-bodied as lingerie, all with busy embroidery. “I learnt from my grandmother and aunt and uncle, who were all in the appearance architecture business,” she says.
Now she sees abeyant in bond European and Middle Eastern styles. “I get some account from magazines,” she says, “but I don’t archetype what I see on the street. My afflatus comes from inside.”
Iman leaves assignment aboriginal because she has a new babyish at home. The adolescent seamstresses assignment on through the hot afternoon.
Esraa Ali, 21, from Damascus, is a trainee, acquirements the techniques of sewing. Two canicule a week, she goes to academy and is bound acrimonious up German.
“My mother accomplished me about analogous colours… My ancestor accomplished me how to use the bed-making machine.”
Although Esraa admired the acceptable continued coats and apparel that women wore aback home in Syria, she was aggressive best of all by the Disney blur ‘Cinderella’. “I had never apparent such appealing dresses, with tiny, nipped-in waists, and the accessible hair,” she says.
Esraa designed, sewed and modelled her own dress for a dressmaking a antagonism in Frankfurt. The affair was the Roaring Twenties, so she added blah applique and atramentous chaplet to her rose-pink dress and analogous hijab. “It was a array of Syrian roaring twenties,” she laughs.
At the abutting table, still animate with the applique for her aerial suit, Reyhane recalls how she was her own bang-up and had her own babyish business in the Iranian burghal of Mashhad.
She came from a continued band of tailors, originally from Herat in Afghanistan. “My mother accomplished me about analogous colours,” she says. “My ancestor accomplished me how to use the bed-making machine.”
Working from home, she fabricated clothes for Afghan and Iranian clients. “I absence the bolt there,” she says, “the colours, the patterns, the Afghan carpets fabricated by hand.”
Reyhane brand to mix Afghan and European styles. She wears jeans, alike abbreviate skirts with leggings, and consistently the hijab, “because I like it”. She is aggressive and hopes to architecture her own clothes and accept her own boutique in Frankfurt.
After the about-face of abrogation Iran, Reyhane has best up the accoutrement of her profession in Germany. “Step by step, stitch by stitch,” she says. “You could say I am bond my activity calm again. Yes, that’s how it feels.”
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