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Photography by Nailya Bikmurzina
Mother Stories

Meet Berlin Mama, Designer, and Model Fa’ Empel

Written by Erin Feher

Photography by Photography by Nailya Bikmurzina

Today’s mama is a true multi-hyphenate. It’s actually kind of hard to describe Fahrani (Fa’) Empel in one concise sentence without feeling like you are leaving out more than half the story. So, we’ll give you a few sentences, and then let her elaborate. The designer and founder of Pawaka (attention-grabbing sunnies, of which Rihanna is a fan) can also fairly claim the labels of model, actress, environmental activist, and musician—although labels aren’t really her thing. Born in Jakarta, Indonesia, her only formal education consisted of nine years at a Muslim school in her hometown. At the age of 16, she left her family for Hong Kong to pursue what would become a successful, decade-long modeling career. After Hong Hong, it was a few years in Tokyo, New York, and Bali, where she lived for four years in a treehouse she built herself in the jungle. (She didn’t get around to installing electricity until year two.) Today she is settled in Berlin, where she shares an art- and plant-filled apartment in the Kreuzberg District with her partner, the Danish photographer and director Viktor Sloth, and their one-year-old, Mata. Needless to say, Fa’ has a fascinating perspective on parenting, career evolution, and so much more. So, we’ll let her tell the rest of the story. Click through the slideshow below for a glimpse into Fa’s day, and to read her enlightening musings.

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