Here, we ask designers to take a selfie and give us an inside look at their life.
Hometown: Amman, Jordan.
Studio location: Amman, Jordan.
Describe what you make: Ready to wear. The goal is to make desirable pieces that are cool, culturally relevant, and beautifully crafted by engaging and elevating the community around us.
The most important thing you’ve designed to date: The Jerusalem jacket from AW18. The starting point of that collection was the question “Where are you from?”—a simple but loaded question for me. Utilizing symbols of my Greek, Palestinian, and Jordanian origins, the collection challenges and explores the notion of a national identity. I wanted to translate this by weaving custom developed jacquards with images of my heritage—the Parthenon being the international symbol of Athens, Jordan’s mascot is Petra, and the Dome of the Rock is the face of Palestine. I wanted to take these heritage sites and make them look like the most modern fabric of our time: denim. The jacket with the Dome of the Rock emblazoned across the back was acquired by the Victoria and Albert Museum in London last year as part of their permanent Middle-East Collection.
Describe the problem your work solves: As a fashion brand based in the Middle East, we’re giving a voice to the modern millennial woman. We’ve carved out a niche of intellectual glam that supports our community at the same time. We utilize clothing to help tell a bigger story from the region by weaving personal narratives with social observations and subtle political commentaries. We hope we are contributing to a change of perception with our sexy—and sometimes outspoken—aesthetic. We’re especially proud of the work we do with underprivileged women through their work with us where they earn a living, learn new skills, and gain financial independence.
Describe the project you are working on now: This week, I’m busy updating the interiors of our atelier/showroom. We’re working with a couple of talented local artists to ideate together on what we can produce that is original, functional, and will add excitement to the space.
A new or forthcoming project we should know about: The beauty (and pain) of fashion is that you’re always working toward fixed deadlines. Our next collection will be out in Feb. 2020 and we’re exploring lots of new techniques that will give us fresh ways to tell our stories.
What you absolutely must have in your studio: Aside from the basics like good headphones and super-fast internet, I need people. My best comes out when I can engage in dialogue and brainstorm together. The most valuable thing any creative cold have is a sounding board. In my case, I have my sister and business partner Stephanie, who is a fantastic editor, and knows how to push an idea forward and acts as a springboard when I’m feeling stuck.
What you do when you’re not working: I’m in a constant state of download: observing, collecting, reflecting, wondering, searching, and absorbing. I liken it to the Chinese concept of “Yin.” And when I work or have an idea, I upload, and this is when I am in a more “Yang” state.
Sources of creative envy: Kanye.
The distraction you want to eliminate: During my early 20s, I was battling a chronic case of procrastination. It has taken years to understand how to create an environment and routine that is conducive to work. Surface-level distractions come in the form of social media or a chatty co-worker. True, dangerous distraction is actually fear disguised in which you are unsure of yourself and/or your work, so you subconsciously avoid.
Concrete or marble? Concrete.
High-rise or townhouse? Townhouse.
Remember or forget? Forget.
Aliens or ghosts? Aliens.
Dark or light? Dark.