Imperial Black

Marrakesh, Morocco: and a tale of Project Soar & doing a little good

Dear friends,

We've been busier than ever at my little non-profit organization Project Soar.  We now serve over 50 underprivileged girls, as well as a community of 350 families!  

A while back we cast our net even farther to partner with the Chevrolet-sponsored effort, One World Futbol.  We distributed 200 of their amazing indestructible soccer balls to young people in 52 local government communes.  To add to the fun, One World Futbol, shot a little video of some of the Project Soar girls getting in on the soccer action.  I was traveling on assignment but my Project Soar colleague Michelle Hirschfield and our Project Soar coach Sana Touhtene share our mission and some of the day's excitement in this video.  Please take a moment to watch! Yay for girl power!

On another front, Project Soar is collaborating with the big-hearted and oh-so-stylish menswear company, Imperial Black on a collection of products.  So excited to report that the Montague 10 in white linen (swoon) is out!

Montague 10 shirt

 This linen -- Italian, of course -- is so fine, it literally feels like a christening gown.  And in white it's absolutely indispensable in any man's wardrobe.  A perfect staple for sultry summer nights.   Get the Montague 10 for your guy (or for yourself) and feel great about doing good while getting something super chic!


    xo from an olive grove in Marrakesh,


PS Want to help Project Soar?  You can!  Check this out here.  Or email me and let's talk!

Marrakesh Morocco: and a tale of Project Soar and doing good

Dear friends,

It's officially Summer and there has been so much going on here with Project Soar, our non-profit organization that seeks to uplift underprivileged communities through art, design and movement.   A little news roundup!

Melanie and Project Soar

*  We have been hosting some super fun activities for the Project Soar girls every Sunday at Peacock Pavilions!  Recent activities have included collage, skateboarding, singing and stenciling workshops.   Many thanks to all of our fantastic instructors.  We love you!   Here's an activity with Melanie of Royal Design Studio

* The adorable fellas of Imperial Black have come up with a Peacock Pavilion tie, with 10% of proceeds benefit Project Soar.  High five!  Check it out here.  

* There are still Peacock Pavilions pocket squares, available, too!  LOVE THESE.  Only $36 and you can feel great about your purchase that helps do something nice for underserved girls and families.

* Eat.Pray.Move is hosting new Give Back retreats at Peacock Pavilions!  You'll enjoy inspiring yoga, fantastic shopping, delicious cuisine, and meeting the Project Soar girls.  10% of profits will go to Project Soar.  Learn more here.  Here's Erin doing yoga with the girls!

SOAR yoga 0021 small

* Husband Chris just drove all the way to Rabat to buy a big trampoline for the girls of Project Soar.  None of the girls have ever been on a trampoline before -- you should see their faces as they bounce in the air.  Priceless!  

Chris IB shirt 1

* There are only 10 Montague shirts left at Imperial Black, with10% of proceeds benefitting Project Soar.  Get your shirt for your guy right here.  It's gorgeous and you'll be doing good at the same time!  Here's Chris wearing his Montague shirt. {so handsome, if I do say so myself}*A big thanks to Brandon Smith for including the Montague shirt in his new magazine here. So nice! 

* We have doubled the size of our basketball court/play area for the Project Soar girls.  Recent clients bought tether balls and jump ropes for the girls.  Yay for play!

* We took the Project Soar girls on their first field trip!  We went to the Gallery Tindouf to see the exhibit of Tahar Ben Jelloun.  This was the first time ever for all of the girls visiting a gallery or museum (and the first time for many in a bus)!  Many thanks to the talented Hadia Temli of the Gallery Tindouf who arranged exclusive Sunday access, gave a talk, and provided each girl an exhibit book.  We are grateful also to Time Tours for sponsoring transportation.


Project Soar collaborated with One World Futboland distributed 200 indestructible soccer balls to 52 villages in our local government commune.  It made a lot of kids very happy. Go team!  Here are the Project Soar girls getting in on the action.


* Did you know that Peacock Pavilions is the Do-Good hotel in Marrakesh?  10% of our profits go to financing Project Soar (last year it was more than 20%!).  If you are planning on coming to Marrakesh, think about staying at Peacock Pavilions -- the stylish design B&B that cares.  Come see for yourself what we are talking about. 

            Your friend in an olive grove in Marrakesh,


            {Project Soar President}

PS Would you like to help Project Soar?  You can!  Are you a designer who would like to create a product with a portion of the proceeds benefiting Project Soar?  Or might you be coming to Marrakesh and like to donate a brand new pair of sneakers (for girls ages 4-14) or new art supplies? Alternatively, could you  contribute to a wash station for the girls so that they an take the health education we give them and help put it into action? Or perhaps you could host a little fundraiser at your house by making a lasagna, watching the Project Soar film and asking each person to donate $25?  Yes, yes, yes, and yes:-) 

It's in our power -- yours and mine -- to care and make a difference.  We can do it together!  Join the Project Soar Nation and be a better world neighbor.  Email me at and let's talk.  Or make a donation here. You know you'll feel better if you do and not just click away from this page. {Thank you!}

Peacock Pavilions in Marrakesh: and a tale of inspirations

Feeling inspired by many things at Peacock Pavilions these days.  Here's a few:

Talismanic hands of Fatima from a favorite jeweler

Jewels Hand of Fatima photographed by Maryam

Some new bones and Simon Winchester's book on skulls (interesting, perhaps, for only the most ardent skull enthusiasts).

Peacock Pavilions bones and skull book

A collection of antique embroidered Moroccan bags from Khalid Art Gallery.

Khalid Art Gallery bags

A new chair covered by a Moroccan wedding blanket.

Peacock Pavilions chair

One of the most beautiful design books that I own, The Divine Home by Peter Vitale.

The Divine Home photographed by Maryam Montague

A new but old Moroccan carpet from Red Thread Souk for my dining room.  Can you see that I have also upholstered my chairs in Moroccan rugs, too?

Carpet from Red Thread Souk

Collections of odds & ends everywhere.  Here some entomology pins from Merchant & Mills, a packet of gold sequins from Figue, a notebook from my friends at Imperial Black, and photography by Alexis de Vilar. I bought the wood arrow in South Africa.

Vignette by Maryam Montague

My family peacock, Maurice, at Peacock Pavilions. I'm still in awe of his splendour.  Really.

Maurice peacock at Peacock PavilionsWhat's inspiring you these days?  I want to know.

Project Soar: and a tale of the Montague shirt by Imperial Black

I stumbled onto Imperial Black many months ago. I remember thinking that I liked the brand's cool.  It had a certain mystique.  Imperial Black sells men's shirtsmade in Italy and of the buy-less-but-better genre. The company's owners seemed to fly planes, drive fast cars, and travel to farflung destinations.  They were all too handsome for their own good. You know the type--beautiful manners and a little dangerous.  It was all very enticing.  

Montague shirt by Imperial Black 1

The problem was that I couldn't figure out how to buy my husband an Imperial Black shirt.  It seemed, I had to have "a passport" to Imperial Black or be "Blacklisted".  The shirts come out in small batches and then they are gone. I wrote Imperial Black and told them I wanted to crack their secret code because I needed a shirt for my guy.  

That was how it started -- the friendship.

In the months since, I learned that all the things that I thought about Imperial Black were actually true. The shirts were perfectly tailored, right down to the saffron colored stitching and the notched cuffs.  The packaging was an experience unto itself - so gorgeous.  

So I was incredibly flattered when Imperial Black told me that they wanted to name a shirt after me:  the Montague.  I was on a conference call with colleagues in Cairo when the email came in and had to muffle my shriek.  I was sent fabric swatches to pick from and chose a stylish small houndstooth.  

Montague shirt by Imperial Black 4

 The blue matches my fella's eyes

Montague Shirt by Imperial Black 2

But beyond the Imperial Black shirts (and the travel luggage, striped socks, horn toothbrushes and Italian shaving cream) there is something much more.  It's a sort of old school integrity in a modern package. Because in addition to the masculine chic appeal of their goods, this is a company with a big heart.   

Ten percent of proceeds of the Montague shirt go to that charity I love so much - Project Soar. Also benefitting Project Soar is the Peacock Pavilions pocket squarereminiscent of the immense North African night sky above Peacock Pavilions.  That's not just cool, it's stellar.

Husband Chris at Peacock Pavilions in his Montague shirt....

Chris IB shirt 9
Montague shirt by Imperial Black

 Pick up your own Montague shirt and Peacock Pavilions pocket square.  Beauty, utility, andgoodness.  It's the right combination, yes?