Growing up in Morocco, Anissa Perkins has had plenty of inspiration for her stylish Kaftan business – Kaftan Dreams. Born out ofa love for fashion, and a passion for beautiful colourful Kaftans made in unique prints – Kaftan Dreams takes the traditional ‘Caftan’ and gives it a luxurious flair.
We sat down with Anissa and discussed how her Moroccan culture has influenced her designs, the sustainable and ethical sourcing of her Kaftans- and finally, how her family has become both support network and inspiration throughout her journey.
Tell us a little bit about yourself and your background, what inspired you to start Kaftan Dreams?
Growing up in Morocco, I have always had a love for beautiful, colourful and unique clothing and accessories. This love eventually evolved into a business idea in the form of Kaftan Dreams. My own dream is to create a haven of beautiful creations, vibrant colours, luxurious fabrics — all with my own unique prints.
Before starting Kaftan Dreams, I had a career in fashion that spanned two decades. I had been lucky enough to work for Giorgio Armani in France. I stepped away from fashion for12 years to raise my four children, but my passion was calling me back. This is why I started Kaftan Dreams. Now I can be with my family and manage my own creative business that is all about dressing colourful, strong women!
Why did you decide to focus on kaftans in particular?
Kaftans are part of my culture because I was born in Morocco and was used to seeing beautiful women wearing colourful and feminine kaftans when I was growing up in Casablanca. Kaftan or ‘Caftan’ is a loose long gown type dress that is traditionally worn by women in Middle Eastern countries including Pakistan and Persia as their daily wear.
Today, women love to wear both traditional and western outfits equally regardless where they live. When they want to feel the sun or walk on the seashore , they need something different and cool. A kaftan is the perfect choice for every woman who wants to roam around the beaches freely. Our Modern Kaftans are not only used as beach wear dress or swimwear but can be worn as excellent beach-resort wear too. These are just a few of the reasons why women enjoy wearing kaftans.
Our Kaftan dresses are mostly free-flowing, loose gowns that reach your ankles. There are a lot design features added into the kaftan dresses which include fabulous prints, kimono sleeves, and V-necklines with hand finished embroideries.
Tell us about your bespoke collection?
Our luxurious bespoke collection of silk Kaftans feature exclusive prints inspired by the colours of the Orient. They combine traditional fabrics and craftsmanship with modern cuts and a fresh perspectve, offering a feminine silhouette, that’s both sensual and regal.
Rather than dictating the cuts and fabric combinations, we offer you the chance to select the house-designed silk prints you love most in a wide variety of cuts, creating a naturally elegant outfit that will carry you through each day. We work with many groups of artisans to offer traditional techniques of weaving, embroidery, and prints that are exclusive to Kaftan dreams. All creations are ethically constructed. The respect we have for our collaborative artisans a key priority.
How important is ethical sourcing and sustainability to your brand?
At Kaftan Dreams we want our customers to know where the products come from; as well as how they’re made. As a mum of 4 children, I’m concerned about their future and the planet that they will live in. I choose sustainably sourced fabrics and services because of the impact on the environment, and we also want to make sure that our workers are treated well.
What has been the biggest challenge you have faced as an entrepreneur so far?
The biggest challenge I have to face is to wear all the hats myself; from sales, to marketing, to accounting, IT, and innovation. These are all the number of roles that I have to assume as owner of a new business. I also find myself isolated in my own little space trying to get my brand in a fashion world that is own by giants and managing my time while my priority is my family.
What advice do you have for women who would like to become a GirlBoss like yourself?
Stay authentic and creating something you’re really passionate about.