When Ali packs a box on the floor, she bends deeply at the waist with her long legs giraffe-straight and her back in downward-facing dog - a few decades of yoga showing its reward. Last week, she unpacked a lot of boxes in full stretch mode as Ibu headed to Palm Beach to preview her new collection. Never one to stand idle, Ali gets busy unwrapping goods, branding each jewelry bag with her hand-drawn logo, speaking to a reporter or before a large group - nothing is unimportant. She throws herself into every task like a yogi present to the need.
Which is humbling at 4:45 in the morning when, after a late night, we wake to take on the next site set up and she is laughing through her coffee and I know that she is only doing this out of love for no reward but that of giving herself completely to the women of the world who want a chance.
Today is the much anticipated launch our Spring 2018 ali4ibu collection. What I can tell you is that Ali took colored pen to paper to design each piece of this offering, kept up with often mind-bending details of production from editing hem-lengths to the size and shade of beads. This collection isn't just her stamp of approval, this is Ali's dream of what it means to be beautiful and strong. Dressed, as she always is, in the colors of the world, the handwork and hope of its artisans.
I encouraged her to take the iconic pieces of her wardrobe and make them new for you. So, we have new spins on her signature chokers. Her favorite bordered Indian shawl. Graphic black and white stripes. Romantic dresses. Breezy sandals. The look of natural summer ease which is her own.
Last Saturday night, the spring equinox moon rose full and mysterious through the trees. Just back from our week in Florida, I walked in my garden in a state of wonder. The day before, Ali had slipped away from our remarkable hosts in Florida and headed home to her be with her family. It was Passover and Easter and she cared desperately that her grandson had a proper hunt for eggs. It was also her 79th birthday.
The moon turned its generous face toward our oak trees. I thought of this woman, then, this remarkable light. Growing younger each year she gives away her fullness. Growing nimble with each stretch of her strong back, unpacking love in tangible ways. Growing lighter each times she dyes an egg or touches a life, as is her practice, daily.
Here's to growing in that light, and that kind of joy. Here's to a woman I do not just admire but have grown to love - and to the laughter in her eyes, the fruitfulness of her years. And to the kick-ass collection she just put together for you. Have fun.
All the Best,
Susan Hull Walker
Mary Mahoney (top) of Mary Mahoney Linens, a 30 year institution on Worth Avenue in Palm Beach, invited Ibu to come to her separate, delightful pop-up shop two doors down from her shop. She did so with the encouragement of her friends, Beth Dowdle and Weegie Antle (right), who helped throughout the whole a air in countless ways, including housing and feeding our team. Mary turned to Katie Vecellio (left) to provide hospitality for Ali and Susan, while also hosting an unforgettable dinner for 20 women in her home.
For two days, our team welcomed Palm Beach to meet Ibu and how they did respond! We're overwhelmed with the interest and support we received, and if this response is any indication - you are going to LOVE the new ali4ibu collection!
Thank you, Mary, Katie, Beth and Weegie, as well as your fabulous group who made it all possible: Shannon, Elizabeth, Celina, Jessica, Spencer, and all!! It was a memorable two days, made richer with your generous hospitality and enthusiasm. We can't wait to return!