When you first meet Amina Ghali, she is somewhat reserved and demure. The daughter of acclaimed jewelry designer Azza Fahmy, Ghali is an artist in her own right.
Having recently launched her second Fashion line for the Azza Fahmy brand, the collection reflects her versatility as a designer, all the while creating pieces that – like her – are delicately feminine yet conceal a strong woman inside.
Her first line was inspired by African animal motifs and prints, and was a wild success. Her second line is inspired by the various patterns of oriental rugs, a task which took over a year to research, design and execute.
This collection is also flying quickly off the shelves and deservedly so. Ghali has outdone herself while maintaining the ideals of the Azza Fahmy brand: original, exquisite craftsmanship.
Ghali’s pieces can be worn by a woman of any age, but it does require a spirited woman. The pieces are bold, colorful and striking, demanding to be the center of one’s outfit. A short necklace of beautifully handcrafted baubles can be worn with long strands of turquoise or pearls. Onyx and other semi-precious stones adorn the various designs. Wood is used and incorporated with silver and gold in some of pieces, giving the collection a contemporary, yet somewhat organic look.
Ghali sat down with Daily News Egypt and spoke about why she loves doing what she does so well:
Daily News Egypt: What prompted you to pursue jewelry design?
Amina Ghali: I’ve been exposed to jewelry design since I was young because of my mother whose passion was so infectious that it seemed like a natural progression for me to take on the same interest. I got bitten by the design bug and studied contemporary jewelry in Italy’s Alchimia School for a year, followed by a BA in jewelry design and silversmith at the University of Central England, Birmingham, UK.
I came back to Egypt where I worked with Azza Fahmy Jewelry quietly behind the scenes for four years perfecting my own designs. In 2008, I felt I was ready to launch my first Fashion collection and this year launched the second in June.
What is your personal attitude towards jewelry? How do you see your pieces being worn?
Jewelry says a lot about the person; you can tell if they’re comfortable in what they’re wearing, confident, or just wearing it to make a statement. It also says something about their preferences and their character depending on the design of the pieces they’re wearing.
For me, what’s most important is to wear a piece that’s comfortably stylish. One of the nice things about my designs is that they can be worn in different ways and moods; they can be dressed up or down depending on the attire. The same piece could be worn for work, for a night time outing or even a wedding. Lots of layering can also be done with this collection because of the variety of chain lengths.
What was the biggest challenge regarding your recent collection in terms of design, conception and production?
Just like each one of our pieces is carefully designed to incorporate an element from culture, I do the same even with my Fashion collections; incorporating the chosen and researched cultural theme along with the latest trends in fashion, colors, material, and the Azza Fahmy Jewelry trademarks to create a collection offering a variety of pieces that are still harmoniously different is challenging but also very interesting.
Not only do I research and design but I also make sure that the design is executed the right way when the prototype is created; you can have a very nice design idea that does not work technically.
What do you struggle with as a designer in Egypt?
I don’t! Egypt has all the resources a designer can ask for. Our culture is so rich and is not well explored yet so there’s a lot for me to work from and revive as I work on my designs.
How do you see yourself continuing your mother’s work within the AF brand? And how do you see yourself contributing to its evolution?
Being part of the brand for four years and taking part in designing pieces from across the different lines along with designing my own Fashion line under the supervision of such a passionate and professional person like Azza Fahmy is giving me a lot to learn from. This is all preparation for me to then be the one passing on everything I’ve learned over the years. The idea is to have a Azza Fahmy Jewelry design house that always offers wearable art with a personal story behind each piece.
What passions and objectives are you hoping to achieve outside of jewelry?
Design is a big part of my life, it is my passion; my bigger ambition is to keep contributing to the success of the Azza Fahmy Jewelry brand.
What has jewelry design taught you about life? And what has life taught you about jewelry design?
Jewelry taught me about history and how people wore different jewelry across time and how it changes according to each era. It taught me about the different cultures and why they each had different jewelry, be it for protection, mourning, celebrations, social status, and so on.
Jewelry also taught me how essential it is to your wardrobe, how a piece of jewelry can completely change the way you look.
What life taught me about jewelry – everything. I draw my inspiration from anything, so the choices are endless; inspirations are endless for one lifetime.