Saman and I have been friends for twenty years now, and in that time span, she has never ceased to inspire me. I can trace back the beginnings of our friendship to summers spent at a sort of “world issues” study camp in the middle of nowhere in the hills of Switzerland, where cows were our only neighbours. That’s when we thought breaking the rules made us really cool. (Ok so maybe the 20-year-old that still lives inside of me has trouble breaking with that logic). My first summer was just spent observing her exotic beauty from a distance, while staying busy dealing with my teenage angst; by the second summer we would ditch classes to hang out in the surrounding fields and would excitedly show off our purchases from the H&M the next town over. Somehow I was able to sell the idea that Luxembourg was this really fun place, so one summer she came with me and we danced 6 hours straight at a rave by a lake…I think as a result she still thinks Luxembourg is this really cool place. Then came Israel, where we made lasting memories under the enchanting smell of cypress trees and orange blossoms. Since then, I have watched her come into her own as she embraced her design vocation (and told the rest of us what we would crave three years down the line as an unofficial cool hunter) and launched a successful hang bag line which was sold at the iconic NY store Maryam Nassirzadeh. Now she continues to inspire me endlessly as a parent and is about to launch her kids underwear line League of Girls and Boys. Saman Iman Toloui is one of the coolest people I know, and here is a bit of her story.
All photographs in this story were shot by Layli Samimi