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Instagram: Dispatches from
East Africa

Instagram: Dispatches from East Africa

Are you following us on Instagram? If no, today is a particularly fine day to start: our senior accessories designer Sebastian is sharing his favorite photos and stories from East Africa, where we traveled to connect with the designers, artisan collectives and cooperatives behind our limited-edition Legend and Song collection. For a first-hand look at his journey, head here.

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Found for $50: Morocco

Our catalog shoots present invaluable opportunities for us to explore far… >

Found for $50: Morocco

Our catalog shoots present invaluable opportunities for us to explore far-flung locales, experience new cultures, leave comfort zones behind, and ok, shop shop shop! For the March book, we headed to Morocco, first to the bustle of Tangier and then up into the Rif Mountains to the mysterious blue city of Chefchaouen. In both places we found ourselves navigating the close, twisty alleyways of ancient souks, engaging in genial haggling with shop proprietors (uncouth as it feels at first, it really is part of the experience), and coming away with some of our most cherished mementos yet. Here, three Home Office explorers share what they procured on a $50 budget.

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Richmond T., Styling Director
Berber Necklace, $30
"I have a huge jewelry collection, in part because I try to find a new piece every time I travel. It’s the best souvenir because it doesn’t take up suitcase space, and reminds me of my travels every time I wear it. I found this Berber necklace in a marketplace in Chefchaouen. I chose it for its scale, but the shopkeeper told me that each medallion represented a different Berber tribe; I can’t wait to research more about the tribe I chose.”

Fossil Rock, $20
"I recently started collecting different rocks and crystals, so when I saw this piece of African fossil rock in a shop I had to have it. I loved its spherical shape and marbled coloring."

Notebook, Free
"The kind owners of our hotel in Tangier gave a few of us notebooks to take home as keepsakes. The cover art is a collage of Tangier rooftops photographed by a local artist. Pocket notebooks like this always come in handy for work and this one will remind me of our journey to this incredible city.”

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Susy K., Chief Marketing Officer
Horn Bracelets, $6 each

"I bought these horn cuffs and bangles from the charming proprietors of our hotel in Tangier, who stocked a wonderfully eclectic assortment of local wares in their in-house boutique. I wear them with painted horn cuffs my sister bought me in Senegal. I like horn jewelry because you can achieve a large-scale look without bulk or weight.”

 

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Emily  M., Copywriter
Blankets, $30
"I bought these blankets in Chefchaouen—the town has weavers’ workshops, and textiles everywhere. I was drawn to the blue-striped blanket because it matched the walls of the city. Women in Chefchaouen wear red-striped fabric like this tied high around their waists, over their regular clothes. I’m not quite sure what I’ll do with it yet, but I like having it around.”

Bowls, $10, and Hand of Fatima, $5
"While the rest of the team was occupied at our photo shoot at in the middle of Tangier’s souk, I snuck away and browsed the shops. I bought the metal-rimmed ceramic bowls for my friends in the office and the hand of Fatima amulet for myself. It’s everywhere in Tangier; it’s supposed to ward off the evil eye!”

Vintage Book, $5
"I found this book at a bookstand we photographed in Chefchaouen. It’s for my best friend who is obsessed with ‘80s teendom and all things French. I could only muster enough high school French to guess at its contents, but it seems to be some sort of guide on personal style.”

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Away We Go: Morocco

When considering locations for a catalog shoot, options are weighed carefully… >

Away We Go: Morocco

When considering locations for a catalog shoot, options are weighed carefully. To journey somewhere far-flung and scenic isn’t always enough; a place must also stir feelings of wanderlust, curiosity and a deep need to learn its secret story. Our journey to Morocco for our March Lookbook was no different. As our art director Meghan put it, “We like to go a little off the beaten path. Tangier caught our eye, having read the accounts of writers and expats who formed a community there in the 1950s.” Susy, our marketing chief, seconds the notion, saying, “In Tangier you have this beautiful light bouncing off the Straits of Gibraltar, along with an atmosphere of louche glamour.” Indeed, Tangier became a character in our March story, not just a backdrop. From ancient medina streets to jewel box tearooms to whitewashed rooftops, we invite you to see what we saw.

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Make it Happen: Moroccan Mint
Tea at Home

In Morocco, we discovered, drinking tea is like breathing air—it is simply… >

Make it Happen: Moroccan
Mint Tea at Home

In Morocco, we discovered drinking tea is like breathing air—it is simply what one does. Served strong, sweet and steaming hot, mint tea is central to a Moroccan’s social life and cultural experience, and is lingered over all hours of the day. We drank our fair share during our excursion (truth be told, we did request it sans sucre from time to time), and even settled in at Tangier’s legendary Café Tingis for a few glasses while exploring the souk. Upon returning stateside, we longed to recreate the experience as best we could, using lots of fresh mint, ornate little glasses, and—steady hands alert—the dramatic flourish of the high pour.

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WHAT YOU’LL NEED

10 sprigs of mint, plus extra for garnish
3 tablespoons loose green tea
3 tablespoons sugar, or to taste
4 cups water

HOW TO MAKE IT…

Boil the water and pour a small amount in your teapot to get the pot nice and warm. Combine the mint sprigs, tea and sugar in the pot and fill with the rest of the hot water, steeping for a few minutes. Fill one glass with the tea and then pour it back into the pot, to dissolve the sugar and mix the flavors together. Repeat another time or two. The piece de resistance: when ready to serve, pour the tea into the glasses from a good distance above the cups. This will aerate the tea and create a nice foam on the surface of your drink. Garnish with the extra mint and enjoy with a good conversation.


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The Story of Legend and Song

The Legend and Song collection began with an inkling: what if we were to… >

The Story of Legend and Song

The Legend and Song collection began with an inkling: what if we were to collaborate with artisans from Africa in a way that showcased and modernized the crafts we have so long admired?

And then, as so often happens at the Home Office, the stars aligned and we took a trip.

We weren’t alone.

With the help of Bhavana World Project, a social enterprise that links stateside companies with East Africa entrepreneurs and USAID, the lead U.S. Government agency developing trade and social programs in Africa, our design and production teams traveled to Ethiopia, Kenya, Rwanda and Tanzania, making connections with designers, artisan collectives and cooperatives that practice the kind of traditional craftsmanship and of-the-moment aesthetic we so craved. The reality of the trip was far more special than we could’ve imagined; it was a downright magical, lighting-in-a-bottle confluence of collaboration and kismet. Come along with us and see.



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"We started in the main area of Zanzibar, Stone Town—one of the most beautiful places I’ve ever been. There is this contrast of Western architecture with African textiles and materials. It’s an amazing dichotomy." — Sebastian B., senior accessories designer



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"I’ve never seen textiles like this anywhere in the world. All are handwoven on the loom, the gauge is really fine, almost like a soft gauze. The fabric is incredible; the quality is top-notch and they weave bright yarns into it, so it’s really modern." — Sebastian

 

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"The design inspiration was Dutch wax prints, so our strategy was to source, purchase and research, then ultimately, meet with the companies and design. Everyone took it so seriously; we returned in September and by the first of October we were concepting." — Llenay Ferretti, founder of Bhavana World Project

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"I partnered with Sammy in Ethiopia, who works with leather. His niche is lambskin, the softest, most supple leather, which he tie-dyes using a traditional shibori method." — Sebastian

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"Visiting Rwanda was the most moving part of the trip. It’s amazing to see how far they’ve come—and so fast!—from their tragic past. When we arrived at the workshop, the women started singing to us and we were all in tears. It was encouraging to see design making an impact, how excited they were about the work and how it affects their lives." — Sebastian

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"We collaborated with URU to do an exclusive line, using ethically sourced stones that are traditional to Tanzania to show the diversity of the country’s mining." — Sebastian



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"The design team of Mille Collines is young and full of energy. I love how they fuse their tailoring expertise with African folklore and tradition." — Sebastian


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"To discover East Africa is an exhilarating experience; I wanted to introduce Anthropologie to this part of the world. The places and the people—their talent, their passion for life, their beauty—are the inspiration for Legend and Song, what makes it sing." — Llenay

"We are delighted to have hosted Anthropologie in East Africa. It is exciting to know that the relationships created here will bring this uniquely African collection to their customer." Finn Holm-Olsen, AGOA Trade Advisor, USAID East Africa Trade Hub





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Instagrams That Inspire

Our buyers and designers head off to all sorts of exotic locales all year long, hunting… >

Instagrams That Inspire

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Our buyers and designers head off to all sorts of exotic locales all year long, hunting down new sources and soaking in everything as inspiration. Some, like our dedicated handbag designer Sebastian, keep track of their travels (and give all of us back home a little something to dream about) with Instagram. Some of those Instagrams even become designs themselves, like the one above, that Sebastian snapped of a wall in Rome, that became our Hashtag Bag. With his help, we’ve culled some of his most intriguing shots here into a travelogue for you.


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“I always draw my color inspiration from pictures—the season’s palette comes together through them. On our last visit to India, I just loved the tangerine saris, the washed pink and terra cottas I saw everywhere. India is an assault on the senses…the colors, the smells, the flavors.”


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"I love taking portraits of people. This woman was selling textiles—you can see some behind her—at the Kinari Bazaar in Old Delhi, which is where most of the antique textiles can be found. We even bought some for our upcoming summer 2014 collection."


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“We always stay at The Trident Hotel. It’s in the middle of Delhi, but it feels private and zen. There are lanterns everywhere and they burn this amazing incense throughout the hotel. It’s an escape from the bustle of Delhi and our home away from home.”


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“Here we are landing in Hong Kong after a 17 hour flight! It’s a real birds-eye view —you can see all of the boats and clouds.”


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“Hong Kong is so hi-tech, way more so than India, it’s really a contrast. At the trim markets there, they have these walls filled with spools of ribbon and you can just pick what you want. In India, everything is really handmade. At the trim markets, they also have these little altars to ward off evil spirits—I almost lit myself on fire at this one (pictured, left)! Of course, the food is so inspiring too, this was a little pre-appetizer of sashimi at the Armani Restaurant there.”


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“The Amalfi Coast of Italy is amazing—Positano is my favorite place on earth. In Positano, the sidewalk is covered in gold mosaic terrazzo! We were at Le Sirenuse Hotel on a windy night and I snapped this photo (above left). It felt very surreal and Fellini-esque!”


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“Positano is all about lemons (and limoncello). I just love the colors of the food. And I loved these cute antique mini Vespas.”


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“I’m very inspired by Rome, the walls and whitewashing and the pigmented colors—and even the pigeons! The mask statue is from the Valentino offices in Rome, the arches are from the Uffizi in Florence and the ceiling is a cathedral in Milan.”


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“When we visited Africa, I flew in the cockpit of the plane. Everything is so remote there, it’s the best way to travel. In Zanzibar, we explored Stone Town, which has a real Casablanca feel to it—it’s a very dilapidated glamour. We saw this wooden sailboat with huge linen sails at breakfast one day there. And this building (left) is the House of Wonders, now a museum and formerly a sultan’s palace.”



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“I loved this door in Stone Town, so it’s going to be a bag in our summer 2014 collection. Here’s a little sneak peek!”



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On the Road: A Journey to Japan

It’s hard to keep up with our head curator Wendy. If she’s not scouring… >

On the Road: A Journey to Japan

It’s hard to keep up with our head curator Wendy. If she’s not scouring the flea markets of Paris for one-of-a-kind items, she’s zipping off to Japan to connect with the artisans at the cult denim house, Kapital. The result of this meeting of like minds? Our just-released collection of Kapital’s women apparel—the largest ever offered in the U.S. If you’re unfamiliar with Kapital’s offerings, think handcrafted, upcycled, unforgettable pieces that only get better with age. We’ll let Wendy tell you more…

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On the Road:
At The Paris Flea Markets


Our Head Curator Wendy is no stranger to flea markets, but she…>

On the Road: At The Paris Flea Markets

Our Head Curator Wendy is no stranger to flea markets, but she holds a special place in her heart for Marché aux Puces St-Ouen—affectionately known as Les Puces (the fleas)—in Paris. She visits there at least twice a year, scouring its stalls for treasures to add to Anthropologie’s found collection. In honor of our Found In Paris gallery launch, we asked Wendy to share the highlights from her most recent expedition in the City of Light.

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“I stop here every time I visit the market. It’s filled with bins and bins of beautiful bits—hardware, chandelier pieces, you name it.”

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“You’ll not only find unique standalone items, but also entire collections that will take your breath away. These vintage paperweights are filled with dried flowers—it’s like there’s a whole world inside each one.”

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“These 70s-era chandeliers are covered top-to-bottom in crochet.”

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“I often spot different trends throughout the market that can easily be incorporated into the home. Case in point, this grouping of mirrors. A collection of small ones instantly gives any space a curated look.”

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“The dealers not only sell incredible wares, but they’re are also skilled stylists. I love the museum-esque vibe of this stall. And that gorgeous paneling—don’t even get me started on that.”

Interested in more of our Paris picks?

Meet us in the Marais.
Hear our Passport to Paris playlist.
Drink a champagne cocktail with us.

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Meet Us in the Marais


Ah, Paris! The birthplace of romance and haute couture, home to…>

Meet Us in the Marais

Ah, Paris! The birthplace of romance and haute couture, home to some of the finest cultural and epicurean offerings on the planet and, if you’re not in the know, a minefield of tourist traps. To get the quatre-un-un on the best of the City of Light—the historic-and-happening Marais neighborhood in particular—we turned to our most trusted sources, home office Francophiles Susy, Wendy and Maggie, for the off-the-beaten-rue finds.

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"When it comes to shopping, I can’t help but love the range of fashion, home and design at Merci, and always stop by the two kids stores around the corner—Wowo and Bon Ton. Don’t miss Chez Omar for couscous!”
                  -Maggie, Apparel Merchandise Manager

"We had dinner at the eccentric bohemian restaurant, Le Derriere, which is hidden away with an unmarked doorway—super fun and cool. When you get sick of croissants and baguettes, the rustic-modern Rose Bakery has the best carrot cake in the world. Browse vintage cameras and musical instruments on Boulevard Beaumarchais. Galerie Nikki Diana Marquardt is wonderful, especially if the Dan Flavin installation is on view.”
                 -Susy, Chief Marketing Officer

"This hunting and nature museum is a real secret spot. For a fun combo of book browsing and a snack, try the tearoom at Le Thé des Écrivains. And be sure to check out Pamela Popo for a delicious dinner and great people-watching.”
                 -Wendy, Head Curator

We hit the streets of the Marais—see what we wore!

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