Powerful, inspiring, and a true leader is how he often describes a woman. While the world often loses sight of its axis, he would often define her as his corner stone. Raised by a powerful woman, Shaddy Ellian, naturally found himself captivated by the allure of a strong woman.
Season after season, Ellian chose to unfold the story of his leading lady through articulate carvings and dazzling crystals. In the winter she was determined to inspire other women to stand out and by the summer she was advocating equal rights. Ellian’s heroine might not be a human being in the obvious meaning of the word; nonetheless, she is an idea that many females choose to embrace every single morning.
Hayden is the designer’s jewellery brand and influential companion. Through few collections, the brand has managed to find its way to a circle of mighty women, who do not plan to stop before getting to their destinations.
In time for the new season, the duo decided to be part of the current coins trend; yet, without giving up on their empowering mission. Motivated by the international story of Venus, Hayden powered by Ellian decided to turn the goddess’ face into a token of freedom and equality.
The golden collection is a visual statement accentuated with chains and the tendency for layering. With that said, the true surprise of the collection is the designer’s first set of bags and belts. With the new offering, Ellian subtly took Hayden from jewellery to accessories in general.
‘The Modern Venus’ was launched earlier this week through an artistic showcase in collaboration with Ali Noori Ali Satea. The international sculptor showcased a number of his finest pieces as well as a special sculpture designed specifically for this collection. Meanwhile, the event also included a conceptual video and a long-night after party.
Daily News Egypt sat down for an interview with Ellian to talk about inspiring women, ,expanding into accessories and incorporating art in his creative mix. The transcript for which is below lightly edited for clarity:
Can you list your main inspiration behind this collection?
Coins are a huge trend this season. By definition, I wanted to be part of this international hype; nonetheless, I had to find my own interpretation. Coins are often currencies that vary from one country to another—sometimes it is the logo of a brand. In my case, I was inspired by Venus, the Greek goddess. As a true fan of her story, I was encouraged to give her a well-deserved coin.
She was strong, beautiful and attractive—she was everything every woman wants to be. Accordingly, I had to bring her into the 21st century.
I spent a few days going through all the pervious artworks dedicated to her. I kept staring at her varying features, as well as the details of her story. Before long, I found myself immersed in sketching her and this collection.
With that said, this collection marks an important milestone for Hayden. I never wanted to be labelled as a jewellery-only brand. The majority of international brands started with a certain specialty before upgrading their range of offerings and evolving into a fashion house. I want to become a cohesive brand that you might consider when you want to buy jewellery, a bag, or a belt.
For this collection, I chose to introduce new angles of Hayden. I designed a few bags and belts to match the rest of the collection. This brand is my child—I am keen on seeing her grow and develop.
It was not an easy task. I launched my previous collection over nine months ago. It was on that day, when I realized that I should not limit myself anymore. Accordingly, I started taking courses to discover new horizons.
I believe that everyone should venture into new areas every once and a while. Meanwhile, it is always important to refresh and add to your knowledge with courses. Knowing how to accomplish something is not enough, people should continue studying, in order to seek optimisation and perfection.
I gave myself time to study new disciplines. Even now after this collection, I am currently focused on studying new techniques.
Do you think specialised fashion courses in Egypt accessible?
Honestly, finding the right courses in Egypt is not an easy task. Therefore, I often have to travel abroad to find useful courses. However, big fashion houses in Paris and Milan have online courses, which give you a sneak peek of the entire curriculum. Accordingly, you study the first three weeks from the comfort of your house then you travel for another three weeks to finish the advanced practical levels.
For this particular collection, I had to take two courses between Paris and Milan. It was a lot of pressure at the time, since I was also sketching the new collection and still following up with my previous collection in parallel. However, all the hard times are instantly forgotten when you see people checking the final results and complementing the details—it is quite a rewarding moment.
What do you consider as most challenging phase of this collection?
If learning and sketching were tricky, the technical part was a whole other ball game. Sketching something is important; nonetheless, bringing it to live is the true challenge.
What made you move past your signature Swarovski crystals?
I still use them and I am planning on using them in the future. Nonetheless, I do not want them to become the core of my designs, as much as they used to be. If you are looking for Swarovski crystals, you can go to a bunch of other stores or just buy straight ahead from the brand itself. Meanwhile, I plan to stand out and build my own niche.
This event is an experience, which aims to unfold the story of both the collection and the brand. Fashion houses abroad often launch their new creations in themed parties that communicate their messages in a number of different channels. That was exactly what I wanted to create for my clients—I wanted to give them the chance to come see the new pieces and go through an artistic experience with Hayden.
For the party we collaborated with an international sculptor, who did a special piece just for Hayden. This is a new element that no one in Egypt has tapped into before. I do not aim to be number one; instead, I am always keen on being different. I hope that my work would open the door for the new generation to think differently.
As a designer, I am by definition an art fanatic. Paintings, sculptures, music, and every other medium can inspire me. I can look at a certain building and instantly feel a connection with its architecture.
Moving forward what do you have in mind for future plans?
We are currently putting together a gala dinner with influential international bloggers. They will be visiting Egypt especially, for this event. Meanwhile, Fatma Momen is the face of this collection and she will be sharing special content for Venus. Every once in a while we plan to collaborate with well-known bloggers that can represent our brand.