The finest fabric in the world should not go extinct, and we decided to make sure it does not.
The Empress & The Shawl
Empress Josephine de Beauharnais, regarded by many as the first fashion icon of the modern age, held something very dear: her collection of Cashmere shawls. Said to have fallen in love with these shawls the moment she first laid eyes on one, Josephine collected hundreds of them throughout her life. Through Josephine, Cashmere quickly became a fabric of royalty and the aristocracy, a fabric that travelled the seas on ships and across continents on horseback, in order to reach its European clientele. The numerous paintings of late 18th century ladies sporting beautiful shawls still serve as a reminder of Cashmere’s historic importance.
Throughout the 20th century, the only luxury fabric to be named after its place of origin, slowly started to lose its identity due to increasing industrialization. From the mass breeding of Cashmere goats in northern China and Mongolia, to the excessive number of mills and processing centres across the globe, the commercialization of Cashmere caused the fashion world to slowly lose track of the original shawl that had been stealing the hearts of ladies over the centuries.
The real Cashmere shawl, crafted from the very finest and rarest strain of Himalayan Cashmere, and processed from raw fibre into the most exotic and softest woollen fabric known to mankind, once the subject of novels,was no more.
It is this piece of art - the finest Cashmere product ever crafted -that Jos&fine has successfully been reviving. We navigated the complex maze presented by the world’s oldest conflict zone and sought out the remaining master craftsmen and women. Jos&fine has established a system wherein the Cashmere of centuries gone by is re-created and brought to customers around the globe.
Safia Igranaissi, Co-founder & Marketing Director
Born and raised in France, Safia has worked over the years in marketing luxury textiles. A Masters in Marketing from the Ecole Superior at Pau, she has a passion for handcrafted luxury goods. An avid traveller, she seeks out hidden stories of unique craftsmanship from different places. Her French ‘attention to detail’ sets the standard of quality and the design sense at Jos&fine. Safia is the driving force behind the connection between Jos&fine’s European ethos and its master craftsmen and women in the vale of Kashmir in northern India.
Adi Kitroo, Co-founder & Managing Director
Aaditya (Adi) was born in the valley of Kashmir, and raised in the plains of mainland India. An MBA from Europe’s Rotterdam School of Management, he worked as a consultant at the TATA group and at his family’s textile trading firm, prior to co-founding Jos&fine. A technical guru on Cashmere and its artisanal processing, Adi was chosen as a Champion of Change in 2017 by the Government of India. He hunts for the rarest Cashmere strains in the Himalayas during summer and the rest of his time at Jos&fine’s looms in Srinagar's old district.