Egypt gave us pharaohs, the pyramids and the perfection that is Azza Fahmy Jewellery. The designer started her career in the industry back in 1969 to translate different cultures and heritages through the delicate art of fine jewellery. Today, the label is known worldwide for its conceptual designs and artistic flair, and is being spearheaded by Fahmy’s daughter, Amina Ghali. GRAZIA met with the designer, where she discussed their latest collection, ‘Wonders of Nature,’ as well as how the Egyptian designer draws inspiration for her collections.
Was it always a dream of yours to work in the family business?
I was one of a few very lucky children, because ever since I was around 7 or 8 I knew this is exactly what I wanted to do. I even used to sign birthday cards I would send to people with ‘future jewellery designer.’ It’s definitely been a life-long dream”
How did you get to be in your position?
‘When it came to the time of my life when I was to pursue university, instead of just studying business or marketing which is typically the route most family businesses take, my mother said I had to earn my place in the business so I applied to several universities and did one year in Italy and five years studying jewellery design.
What is it like working with your mother?
I think for sure our relationship developed over the years. Like any family, we have our ups and downs but the key to success is communication. Sometimes you have to put your problems and feelings aside and come to an agreement on the vision and what’s really best for the company. Over the years we have got to value each other’s opinions a lot more which has created an amazing dynamic at work when it comes to design. The most important lesson I have learnt from my mother is that you should always continue working on yourself. My mother is always evolving as a person and I think that is such a crucial thing and that is what will make the entire brand evolve as well.
What do you bring to Azza Fahmy Jewellery?
I think I have brought the brand a fresh eye, especially after my stay in Europe for six years, I managed to bridge a gap between East and West with a new product which became my addition to the brand. As we are from different generations we tend to do things very differently however, we always strive for the same purposes but just have two very different ways of getting there. I introduced how we evolve trends through forecasting agencies and fashion stylists and how you perceive jewellery from a much broader perspective. My mother, on the other hand, was very much engrossed in culture and heritage which she taught me the value of.
You have collaborated with so many designers and entities, including the British museum. which was the most memorable to you and why?
That is such a challenging question as I think each was unique in its own way. For someone like Matthew Williamson, who absolutely loved stars and motifs, the challenge arises of how to combine his DNA with ours. When working with the British Museum it was about taking an exhibition, for example something like the pilgrimage, and how to translate that story onto a piece of jewellery. So each ended up presenting their own excitement.
your latest collection for azza fahmy is named ‘wonders of nature.’ tell us about it.
Even if you’re investing in an exclusive piece, it should be something that can be worn with ease something I often refer to as practical luxury. When you’re making an investment in a piece of clothing you want it to be something that you can really dress up or dress down in a way you can wear the piece over and over again and I think that we really considered this throughout the collection. The thing that makes this collection so appealing is that is has such beautiful masterpieces and heirloom pieces, but also pieces that can be worn every day.
Can you tell us a bit more about how you draw inspiration from ancient Egypt?
Ancient Egypt is definitely an integral part of Azza Fahmy’s brand’s DNA as we are Egyptian. The Egyptian collection took eight years of research and three years of designing and one year of making. So after a total of 12 years. in total, I really feel like my mother earned her title by mastering that. So with that, we try to incorporate this into the newest collections. For me the ancient Egyptians were so famous for symbology. Just like you see in all of our collections, the snake and the lotuses are all symbols of rebirth and renewal.
Discover Azza Fahmy’s latest collections by clicking here or visiting THAT Concept Store at Mall Of The Emirates.