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Author Arizona Muse
Ambassador, Women for Women International
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Celebrating Valentine's Day with Arizona Muse and Chinti & Parker

Our Ambassador, Arizona Muse, tells us about what inspired her to work on the #ForWomenWithLove collaboration between Chinti & Parker and Women for Women International. 

Hi Arizona, thanks for talking to us today! How is your 2018 going so far, could you tell us a bit about what are you’re working on at the moment?

Everything is going really well! I’m very excited about all my projects in sustainability – I’ve become really passionate and enthusiastic about changing the fashion industry into a more sustainable industry. It’s so much fun, which is not the first word I would have expected myself to say, but it really is! I see that there are solutions everywhere and we’re in a very exciting time, where every brand in fashion is realising that they need to get on board. I’ve been doing collaborations with brands to make garments in a totally sustainable way, to show that it really can be done and it doesn’t at all affect the luxury or the beauty of the creation. I’m also still enjoying my modelling and going as many places as I can with that. I’ve just switched agencies, I’m now with Viva in Paris and DNA in New York, and it feels like a great moment to have these agencies behind me, who totally understand my vision. I feel like I’m in a really good place.

It sounds like you’re keeping busy! How did the Chinti & Parker concept come about in the middle of this, and what excited you about the idea?

I’m a friend of Anna Singh, who is one of the two founders of Chinti & Parker, and I’ve always loved the brand - I think they’re really cosy! So it all came about when I was with Anna one night - we were having a drink together and we said, ‘What can we do together? It would be really fun to do something together’, and we realised that this was it. I love Women for Women International and I think that what they do is just so useful. They’re giving aid in the form of information and skills, and that is the most useful way to propel someone into a new standard of living – that way, they can bring their whole family up with them. Women for Women International educate women and give them skills, and then those women can go on to start a small business, and grow it, and they can end up employing their brothers and uncles – it’s those success stories that inspired me… that was something very exciting that I wanted to support. 

And what do you think of the final products; have you got a favourite item?

It’s so hard to choose between my two favourites… one is the Love jumper, that design is so cool. And then the other one is the jumper that says ‘I am’ on the front and then ‘a woman, a mother, a sister, a human being’ on the back – I think those sentences are really powerful. I love the colourful writing, I love that they are all black. That was something that was really important to all of us, that they look really modern and cool and something that you would want to wear anyway.

Arizona Muse wearing the Chinti & Parker Love Women sweater.
Arizona Muse wearing the Chinti & Parker Love Women sweater.

Chinti & Parker

We are proud to collaborate with Chinti & Parker and our Ambassador, Arizona Muse.

Chinti & Parker will donate 100% of profits from their limited edition range to support Women for Women International.

The #ForWomenWithLove hashtag and the messages on the t-shirts – it’s a really powerful message of sisterhood, which strongly resonated with all of us at Women for Women International. What does the idea of sisterhood mean to you?

To me, sisterhood means having a very strong, close group of women who I can tell anything to. Who I admire and feel admiration from. Sisterhood is not a one-way connection, it’s advice-seeking and advice-giving, it’s an open, honest dialogue.

You’ve done a huge amount for Women for Women International over the years – why do you feel connected to our work and motivated to support it?

Well I really love to read personal stories, and Women for Women International gathers the most incredible personal stories from the women go through their programme. It’s moving to read about someone who’s had a very, very different life than I’ve led, without so many privileges. I don’t mean that in a money sense… I mean that in the broader life sense: opportunities that were available to me were just not available to them. And Women for Women International makes me feel like I can actually do something about it - help people around the world who didn’t get the same opportunities and privileges.

You currently sponsor a woman through Women for Women International’s training programme in Afghanistan. What does that mean to you? Have you ever received a letter from her?

Yes! I have had a letter from her – it was really amazing to receive and it brings the whole thing so much closer to home. It makes you realise that these women, they’re so close to us… We think the world is really big and wide and we never have any contact – but having this letter, this sponsorship programme, it brings the human-ness of it into your lap. It’s incredible, and I would highly recommend to everyone who can, to sponsor a woman - because it’s really a moving experience.

Programme participant in Nigeria holding hens.

Sponsor a sister

Sponsoring a sister through our 12-month programme allows her to take charge of her future.

For our #SheInspiresMe campaign, we’re celebrating the women who inspire us and who have made a difference in our lives – is there a particular woman who inspires you?

Well, it’s easy to say my mum, of course. But I’ve had many godmothers as well, who really inspire me – I think being a godmother is a really important position in someone’s life. It’s an amazing opportunity because you have access to a young human who is so willing to listen to you – I have a goddaughter and I love watching her grow - she’s four right now, so she’s very young still.

Is there any particular advice you would give her?

To learn as much as you can, keep learning!

This International Women’s Day, we’re collecting messages of support for women who are living in some of the world’s most dangerous places – we’ll be sending them to women who are raising their children in war-zones, as refugees – and it’s about reaching out and showing our support, showing solidarity. What message would you want to give to another woman, another mother, who is living in that kind of situation?

Oh my gosh, that’s a big question. I feel like I don’t know what to tell her… having to go through that in her life - she must know so much more than me already. But as mother, I think first of my child, so I would say: keep your children as close to you as you can – always have faith in your own abilities to look after your children.