Jewellery Focus April 2018 - Page 20

JANET FITCH TREND-WATCH Brooches are back A ‘‘ Fahmy’s enthusiasm and dedication has resulted in her two talented daughters’ involvement in the business – Fatma Ghaly, the elder is managing director, and Amina Ghali is head of design ‘‘ 20 JEWELLERY FOCUS zza Fahmy’s career path is a fascinating and inspiring story, spanning almost 50 years in which she has become one of the most esteemed jewellery designers in the Middle East and is listed as one of Egypt’s most influential women. Now this leading luxury jewellery house has made the journey from Egypt to London, with the opening in March of a store in the historic Burlington Arcade. Fahmy initiated her path to success in jewellery in 1969, when, with a BA in Interior Design, she came across a book about the classical jewellery of Mediaeval Europe, and continuing her day job, spent her evenings learning with one of the craft’s respected masters in Egypt’s ancient jewellery quarter. In the early 1970s, she was awarded a scholarship by the British Council to study jewellery craft at the City of London Polytechnic, returning to Cairo with the confidence and skills to open her own shop there in 1981. 2002 saw the opening of her factory and design studio, now with over 200 employees. Fahmy herself began a serious exploration of traditional jewellery across Egypt, culminating in her first book, ‘Enchanted Jewellery of Egypt’, in 2003. “We are blessed with over 7000 years of heritage and culture,” she says, “that has influenced global lifestyle such as art deco and jewellery. Egypt is where many of the modern popular designs originated like the serpent motif.” Amanda Denison Melanie Georgacopoulos Ella Fearon-Low Setting her sights on Europe, Fahmy collaborated with Julien MacDonald at London Fashion Week 2006, and created a collection for the Hajj:Journey to the Heart of Islam exhibition at the British Museum in 2012. A year later a partnership with the Florence based Alchimia Contemporary Jewellery School resulted in the establishment of the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy, located in Old Cairo, to educate student designers to become professionals able to compete internationally. In 2016, she was appointed a board member of the Dubai Design and Fashion Council, in a mentor and incubator role, and she continues to travel widely, with boutiques in Cairo and Jordan, and retailing in Qatar, UAE, KSA, Washington DC and the UK. Fahmy’s enthusiasm and dedication has resulted in her two talented daughters’ involvement in the business – Fatma Ghaly, the elder is managing director, and Amina Ghali is head of design, working “to evolve the brand, deliver relevant collections without losing our DNA and careful management of the expansion of our retail markets”. “The London concept store is warm and intimate, with a neutral, gold and Tutankhamen blue colour palette to subtly convey our heritage in a contemporary way.” The latest collection – Falahy Culture Collection - pays tribute to Egyptian peasant jewellery, capturing the skills of intricate fine wire work and highlighting desert April 2018 | jewelleryfocus.co.uk