But the mask meant something more: my travel was not only a journey, it was meant to find the flower of my life.

When I found it, everything was clear: it was such a beautiful flower to resemble a bird flying towards the heaven. I took it acknowledging that my destiny was not a trip on the road but a field to cultivate. I wore my mask and gave the other three objects to: the elephant mask to a priestess, the precious textile to an architect, and a petal from the flower of paradise to a storyteller. Now we nourish my garden together.

The symbol of Zenam is the passport mask. In ancient times people used these masks when travelling from one village to another. When arriving on foot at a village, the mask had to be left at the gate, as a sort of customs border. The mask represented the identity of the traveller, it revealed who they were, where they came from, what their ethnicity was. The mask unveiled you. In Europe the concept of the mask is the exact opposite: it hides who you are. The mask was sufficient for moving from one place to another, it was a real passport and nothing else was required.

Beyond being the brand logo, the mask is the central protagonist at the heart of the iconography of this collection together with three other powerful symbols: the elephant mask, the Oiseau de paradis flower and the linguistic geometries of the Velours du Kasaï: from these 1+3 elements the legendary voyage of Zenam begins.

“THE SEEDS WERE PLANTED AND ARE SPROUTING, COATING THE EARTH WITH COLOUR AND BEAUTY.
IF, DURING MY LIFE, I WILL ALWAYS BE THE CENTRE OF MY GARDEN, I WON’T NEED ANYTHING.”
“TODAY, TRAVEL AND IMMIGRATION ARE MUCH MORE COMPLEX AND CHALLENGING. THE MASK IS SO IMPORTANT TO ZENAM AS IT IS THE SYMBOL OF MOVEMENT AND MUTATION, BUT IT IS ALSO THE STILL POINT OF A LIFE IN FLOW. CLOTHES BECOME AN INTEGRAL PART OF THE ROAD WE TRAVEL AND THROUGH THEM WE SHOW THE OTHER FACES OF OUR IDENTITY.”

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