A Peace Treaty started as a project between two friends, Dana Arbib and Farah Malik, eight months ago and has grown into a hot accessories line carried at Odin and Oak. The company was founded on change, both politically and socially. The scarves are made via fair trade and in Pakistan, where Malik is from. Arbib, on the other hand, isn’t allowed there because of her Israeli citizenship. And proceeds from sales are donated to the Counter Part nonprofit organization. We caught up with the busy duo to talk about their DIY process, their favorite new trends, and the designers they love.
Why did you decide to go to Pakistan to create your scarves?
Farah: I’m originally from Pakistan. And countries like Pakistan, where there has been so much artisanal production traditionally, have been shutting down because people are trying to compete with factories. My whole point of going back there is that this is your tradition — why are you giving it all up in the name of technology?
How are your scarves made?
Farah: It’s a labor of love. Everything is hand-tassled and handmade. And everything is ethical and overly fair trade.
Dana: It could be so easy for us to make a call to China and send them a picture of what we want and get it back a month later, but that’s not what we want.
What trends do you like for fall?
Dana: I like the motorbike boots, the black ones. Harem pants. Leather jackets or leather vests. Or vests in general. And the Arizona Tex-Mex carpet thing that Ralph Lauren did.
Farah: Looking worldly in a way. Looking ethnic. Not gypsy … there needs to be a new word for it.
What trend do you hope goes away?
Dana: Looking dirty needs to die. I’m into looking distressed, because you can never be fully perfect. But dirty is somewhere it doesn’t need to go.
Farah: You mean like Lower East Side?
Dana: Like Williamsburg, Lower East Side, I haven’t taken a shower in four days. Like I’ve been wearing the same thing for six years. I can deal with holes and I can deal with a little bit of dirt. But when you start smelling, I say no.
What was the first designer item you’ve ever bought?
Dana: My dad had the Hermès “H” belt. And I started wearing that in high school. Even though I was considered hip-hop or a hippie, I would throw that on somehow.
Farah: I don’t have an answer. I made clothes a lot in high school. I always thought, screw that, I can do it better.
Who are your favorite designers?
Dana: Peter Jensen, Rick Owens, and Alexander Wang. Everybody likes him. He’s so young and he has such a cute story and he went to my school and I’m so into him. He’s going to be the next Marc Jacobs for sure.
Farah: Kris Von Assche. And Halston. I’m so about disco, so they’re amazing.
What’s something that you really want to buy right now?
Dana: An Alexander Wang herringbone jacket. I’ve tried it on at least twelve times now. And I’m lusting after Preen’s plaid coat with foam on the collar.
What’s one thing you can’t live without?
Dana: A passport and a window.
Farah: Water. I’m not going to be vain and say lip gloss.
What’s one thing that every woman should have in her closet?
Dana: A blazer. And a really hot pair of high boots. Like to the knee, sexy-ass high boots.
Farah: A scarf.