Eating on the Ground

Uzza, a Moroccan skin care brand, joined Ibiza-based Can Pep Rey in their new Barcelona home, for one in a series of picnics currently being hosted by the contemporary clothing brand in the spirit of togetherness.

Salima Issaoui blended her background in bioengineering with her interest in botany, to sow a seed named Uzza (after Arab goddess Al-Uzza, the personification of Venus) in a rose-filled garden in Marrakech in 2018. A vision for a natural and organic brand that would ask its customers what they liked about their skin, and source its main ingredients from Moroccan women’s cooperatives; ‘Open Sesame’ is a gel-to-milk formula facial cleanser and ‘Sandstorm’, an Argan oil facial cream with cucumber, are a couple of the products that since came to fruition.

German-born Paul Conradi and Lea Russ are the breeze blowing Can Pep Rey to the top of the relaxed, wardrobe essentials pile since 2014. Musicians, photographers, and artists have always been welcomed to their old finca in Ibiza – also called Can Pep Rey, where the brand found its name- before Paul and Lea spent a very different three months there, in isolation during lockdown. This latest collection is dedicated to those loved ones to be met once again for food, wine and conversation, shared on a blanket (or a sweater) on the ground, where there is space for everybody.

  1. How did you meet each other?

When we decided to move with CPR to Barcelona we also created a little online zine as part of our website which has the goal to show our inspiration but also highlight young artists and entrepreneurs. Marta, who is in charge of the zine section came across Salima´s brand, Uzza, and proposed it for an interview.

When we finally got to move to Barcelona, after a few months forwards and back due to Covid, we got to meet Salima personally and a friendship developed. Her values in private and business life really match with ours. Also Salima is a really amazing cook and host which we quite enjoy.

  1. How did you arrive at this idea for a Moroccan picnic?

We created our collection for SS21 at Can Pep Rey in Ibiza and spent a lot of time outside. Like everyone we longed for some gatherings and so the idea of the picnic collection developed. Part of this idea was to create many different picnic scenarios over the course of the season. A picnic for us was principally multi-cultural, free for all to join and a setting that placed everyone on one level on the ground. We thought it to be a situation that encourages sharing and conversing freely.

One day we had a great Moroccan dinner at Salima´s and we thought it would be interesting to let Salima create a picnic with Moroccan influences, and with Uzza, Salima´s natural skin care brand; our approach to aesthetics and beauty matched. We decided that it would be great to invite both Salima and Uzza over to our new space.

Since our space is divided in different floors it allowed us to have a pop up with Uzza Skincare in our shop in the ground level, and the picnic happening on the second floor in the kitchen and studio.

  1. What do you like most about Uzza?

 The careful choice of the products ingredients and raw materials; the dedication to the Moroccan culture of self care; taking responsibility for the outcome and result of what she does; acting respectful with any environment. Salima is very transparent and open with everything she does, its a very warm feeling.

  1. What do you have coming up that you’re particularly excited about?

Well as mentioned already, ‘Picnic’ is our collection theme, so throughout the whole summer we are going to have little picnics every four weeks, hosted by different collaborators in Barcelona and Ibiza.

Getting the chance to meet new people through different hosts in the format of the picnic feels really refreshing [in contrast] to the past year. The next one will be a open discussion about taboos in sex. Maty Chevrier collaborated for our SS21 campaign and did her interpretation, a ‘nude renaissance picnic’. These images will be exhibited in the shop and meanwhile the picnic with the open discussion will be happening on the roof.

The second thing we a really looking forward to is the release of our Ibiza Ski Club Fall/Winter21 collection. Its a fun theme and a different series of little pop ups and events is going to happen, that we can’t wait for.

Words by Reeme Idris

Photographer Paul Conradi

Clothing Can Pep Rey

Skincare Uzza