Following in the footsteps of great women

  Fragile yet strong in her essence. Describing the nature of a woman can be done in various ways. Poems are written about her fate, songs are dedicated to her, and verses are composed in her honor. After all, she has been the muse, the inspiration for outstanding achievements. A woman's path, that’s life.

  Madina and Dilyara are close friends who share a lot in common. They grew up in families that revered traditions and culture, and their grandparents raised both. They became exemplary daughters-in-law and loving mothers thanks to their elders' upbringing and wisdom. What united our heroines were kindred spirits, respect for their elders, and a shared mission – to contribute to the development of society. Their collaboration with the brand Zardozi and Zhanna Kan arose from the topic we dedicate this entire issue to – women and their history. In March 2017, a unique clothing brand, Zardozi, appeared in Kazakhstan. The brand hallmark is Indian hand embroidery with golden threads.

When it was yet to be a trend to launch courses, the friends opened a women club and held meetings within an author's program, sharing tools for psychology and development and conversing on topics of interest. Going on maternity leave, they switched to the role of mothers and devoted all their attention to their children. After some time, they returned to business, and on another joint trip, their idea to continue what they had started became a point of contact with Zardozi brand. Madina founded the Kazakhstani clothing brand Nomadmoon and the media company Kaganmedia, while Dilyara has her own luxury segment showroom 1st_aid.showroom. Love and skill in creating, crafting, and sewing brought them together with Zardozi to release an exclusive capsule collection of ZhetyanaT-shirts for women. It's not just a series of T-shirts, but a whole story about women, from Aisha Bibi to our days.

Please tell us about your joint project with Zardozi. What goal and mission does your collaboration carry?

Madina: Dilya and I love Kazakhstan with every fiber of our beings and have always strived to benefit our homeland and society. A couple of years ago, we even founded a club for women to be closer to our subscribers and create a female community where everyone can open up and receive support. After all, a woman's most sincere friend can only be another woman. We held live meetings in the First President's Park early in the morning, practiced yoga, ran together, and conversed on various topics concerning single girls, brides, and young mothers. There were even plans to organize a retreat abroad. Later, when we both had children, we had to postpone all our initiatives for the women's club. Although communication continues to this day, it's mostly online now.

In November 2023, we went on a trip to Italy with Zhanna Kan, who represents such luxury brands in Kazakhstan as Damiani,  the legendary jewelry house and the only company in the world that retains the unparalleled record of having won 18 Diamonds International Awards, the prestigious World Oscars for Jewelry. She also founded the clothing brand Zardozi, which we are in collaboration with today. During the trip, we’ve also met Alikhan Mustafayev and Zhibek Malik, Zardozi marketers, and discussed various topics. Our views converged on the role of women in today's world. It was important for us to create a product in support of women, and in the end, we decided to focus on the theme of Zhetyana – the story of seven generations of women. Each of us had a long-standing dream to create something to support women, a product, an idea, and a mission that would reflect the image of modern women in the spirit of the great women of the steppe.

I have been studying the history and traditions of Kazakhstan for a long time. Our Kağanmedia project emerged from exploring this topic. Our editorial team has been enthusiastically delving into the biography of the great women of the steppe since the first days of our work. Then, all the pieces fell into place: Dilyara’s and mine dream to be beneficial to society merged with the idea of Zardozi, leading us to creating an exclusive capsule collection of T-shirts devoted to Zhetyana theme. By doing so, we wanted to celebrate the strength of women in all spheres —from businesswomen to just moms raising children.

Dilyara: Both of us were raised by our grandmothers, hence the interest in the figure of a woman in history. In my family, it was customary to respect and honor the elders. I was raised according to all the traditions of the Kazakh people. As cliché as it may sound, patriarchy reigns in our home with a respectful attitude towards women. My dad raised me like a princess, thus showing what a real man's attitude towards a woman should be. He invested a lot in my education, which helped my formation as a person, critical thinking development and independence in decision-making. During my studies in China, I’ve realized how important it is to go abroad and experience different cultures and global trends firsthand. This allows you to think broader and more profound. Later, I helped run a family business in Dubai and gained tremendous experience in the restaurant business. When I worked in Milan in the fashion industry, I realized I had found my path. All this is to say that it is vital for a woman to develop herself and find her favorite occupation.

For me, any encounter with our traditions and culture is precious, especially with the history of women. We decided to create a joint project with Zardozi by immersing ourselves in the history and ideology of Damiani's jewels — a brand that celebrates its centenary in 2024. I was very impressed to learn the entire path through which the surname of the Italian Damiani family, whose family traditions were closely intertwined with a love for jewelry art, became a global brand. Damiani's continuity from generation to generation has deeply touched me. My husband is also the heir and continues the path that our father started. We also want to preserve the family heritage, improve it, and pass it on to our son.

Our collaboration will once again emphasize the importance of the global role of women! After all, every woman is the beginning of life; she brings goodness and beauty to this world.

How would you describe a woman’s path since she was born? What is it in your opinion?

Madina: A woman is the substance of this world, while a man is the spirit. Everything that exists materially on earth is a reflection of woman. In other words, she is the essence of the world. From birth, a woman fills the spirit. 

The path of a woman lies in her ability to give life and, therefore, in endless continuation. First, she gives birth, then she nurtures. And yes, no matter what a woman does, she will always have one primary purpose — to raise worthy sons and daughters. A woman is the one who can combine all qualities within herself. She can be tender; she can be resilient; the balance in this material and spiritual world lies in her hands. It is she who can feel the subtle energy and control mysticism. A woman is unreal; she is unique, she is magical, and she is multifaceted. She is the one who fills men and the world with herself.

Dilyara: I believe that a woman's path is linked to birth, creation, and creativity. After all, being born into their families and absorbing all essential qualities, they already create themselves as individuals as they grow up. They choose their path, thus leaving their mark in history. Each period in her life (daughter, sister, granddaughter, beloved, wife, daughter-in-law, mother) is beautiful in its own way. Every woman is unique and irreplaceable. I believe that one of a woman's crucial missions is to bring peace to the world. She can provide that to the world if she feels fulfilled and valuable. 

A woman's path is excellent because she creates. With birth, she brings joy to her parents; by creating herself, she interacts with the world, becoming part of society. Then, she becomes the guardian of the hearth, on which all the warmth in the family rests. Also, as a mother, she creates her own world and ensures the safety of her children.

Why did you decide to dedicate a whole issue to women?

Madina: As a woman, I feel close to every woman from around the world. I really want women to be appropriately respected. After all, in nomadic culture, women were never separated from men; although their roles were different, they equally solved substantial tasks. This magazine issue will be about women, both those remained in history and those making history now. Our editorial team has long wanted to do this. I've long wanted to dedicate an issue to women. This time, our collaboration with the clothing brand Zardozi, Zhetyana theme, which we proudly raise in anticipation of the spring holidays, as well as events happening with women in the world, gave a significant boost to the release of this issue, In the Footsteps of the Great Women of the Steppe.

I really wanted to thank our mothers, grandmothers, friends, and daughters for their resilience and service. May this issue be the beginning of our service to women — women of the steppe, women of the world.

What qualities should a woman possess in our time?

Dilyara: Nobility. I think this is where the whole nature of women begins to unfold. Also, respect, first of all, for oneself and one's environment, and wisdom to manifest oneself properly in different situations. Generosity – there is no way in the world without it – and, most importantly, purity of soul. And above all — self-realization. Everyone should create the best version of themselves, and then they will find their place in society.

Whose image inspires you?

Madina: I am inspired by all beautiful, delicate, strong women who clearly understand what they want and where they are going. Historical figures inspire me too: Tomiris, Börte, wise mothers Domalakana, Gaukharana, Zere, Ulzhan, brave Aliya and Manshuk, bright like AllaIlchun, and my beautiful friends of today. All the women I have encountered have inspired me: my grandmother, mother, sisters, friends, and daughters.

Which women motivate you?

Dilyara: My grandmother. All memories of her are very dear to me. She is my role model. She was a multifaceted woman. From her, I learned how to respect and honor my husband; she showed by example what a woman and a wife should be. She developed herself, engaged in business, often socialized, and helped others. Also, at home, everything was always clean, delicious, and, most importantly, warm. Now, I try to follow in her footsteps because my daughters follow me. This is the path of a woman – to be born and continue the lineage...


Read more