The folkloric touch she adds to every piece, her distinctive sense and her amassed experience makes her one of the leading jewellery designers in the Middle East. Azza Fahmy, the award winning designer, who also made her mark internationally, always appeals to exceedingly traditional and cultural Egyptian designs, which triggers many admirers from East to West with extraordinary pieces that can be easily recognized among a wide collection of ornaments. Fustany invites you to know more about Azza Fahmy, her designs and the inspiration behind every accessory piece.
The push behind you entering the jewellery design world started with a book that changed your life and career, what is the motivating lesson behind your success that you would like to share with our Readers?
If you have a dream and a will to achieve this dream, nothing can stop your destiny.
How did your studies at the London Polytechnic School leave an impact on your designing career?
It enhanced my skills, opened my mind to new techniques and certainly broadened my horizons.
Tell us more about the first ‘Azza Fahmy’ piece!
The first Azza Fahmy piece was a palm while the first collection was called ‘Houses of the Nile,’ which we are recreating as ‘Karyaty’ in our 2012 Culture ‘Nostalgia’ collection, to be launched very soon.
What is the most challenging part about running your own brand?
To always come up with innovative collections and to research about upcoming fashion trends. Most importantly, to educate about other cultures through beautiful designs.
We can sense your deep passion to poetry and especially ‘Kahlil Gibran’ poems, tell us more about that...
I believe that poetry and deep philosophical expressions reflect everything about life, in particular poetry by Kahlil Gibran. I am very passionate about incorporating them within my designs as each piece of jewellery essentially revolves around a central inspirational motif, a poem, a piece of literature, a traditional style, a romantic or spiritual idea or simply a beautiful thought.
What has influenced the ancient Ottoman and the Islamic era designs in your previous collections?
I was born and raised in this country and it has an infinite amount of unexplored rich heritage and deep rooted culture from different civilizations including Pharaonic, Coptic, Ottoman, and many more. The Exclusive Ottoman collection especially was influenced by the Ottoman era, one that is characterized with absolute peacefulness and artistic beauty. Many pieces in the collection are inspired by floral motifs from the Ottoman gardens and geometric interpretation from that time.
What are the 5 words that can describe ‘Azza Fahmy’?
Authentic, Innovative, Spiritual, Personal, and Visionary.
Who are your favorite Middle Eastern fashion designers?
One of my favourite Middle-Eastern designers would be Elie Saab for his elegant celebration of the woman’s body which certainly manifests through his designs.
Exhibiting a nine-piece jewellery collection at the British Museum in London is a great accomplishment, how did people react to the spiritual Islamic designs and Arabic calligraphy?
I believe when art is genuine, authentic, and passionate, people receive it well. Art is my language and when it comes to representing other cultures, I’m fluent.
On a different note, how did the 25 of January revolution influence or inspire your designs?
The Egyptian revolution surely inspired a lot of people and industries across the country. To celebrate my love for my country, I was motivated to create the ‘Dedicated to Egypt’ capsule collection, inspired by patriotic poems and songs that we sung during the revolution manifesting the newly ensued feel of optimism and freedom.
Previously Preen and Julien MacDonald. Is there any new designer collaboration in the pipeline?
We have had the fantastic opportunity of collaborating with big names such as Julien MacDonald and Preen. There is a very interesting collaboration coming up, to be announced next month.
What advice would you give to aspiring jewellery designers in the region?
Be original; do not imitate other people’s trends. Create your own vision of the future and be proud of your own heritage.