Act III presents a collection in which, for the first time, Creative Director Gabriel Hendifar mines personal cultural history to inform the studio's new work. The genesis of the collection is a box, intricately inlaid in the Persian Khatam style, which his grandmother brought with her from Iran to the United States in 1979 as a political refugee.
This collection is an attempt to weave memory and longing into tangible objects. As a first-generation American born after the Islamic Revolution, Gabriel's moments of intersection with Iran and its culture were experienced at a distance. Passed down as an idealized and melancholy memory, it is kept alive through storytelling, food and music. His earliest and fondest memories of childhood are of family gatherings, where his mother would be coaxed to sing Persian songs that somehow expressed his family's sense of collective mourning for a place that he himself had never been.
A film made in collaboration with Matthew Placek, debuts alongside the unveiling of ACT III. It is set in this place that was left in haste, re-imagined as a futurist fantasy. A boy explores the empty corners of a family home, leading us through a dream world. A distant female voice, performed by Gabriel's mother, Afsaneh, is heard singing in Farsi, suggesting the role of women in exile as the watchful keepers of a tribe's cultural currency.