A model showcases Jawaher Al Suwaidi's jewellery designs.
Aisha Hamad AlMidfa
Jawaher Al Suwaidi, a designer, gives us an insight into how the creative process and the Emirati culture has shaped her work. It is vital to note that culture, and to whatever one feels belonging to becomes an influence on various spheres.
Fashion has been used as a tool for many to be able to express themselves without speaking; to some extent, it can be your first impression of someone.
There are no rules to follow when thinking of fashion, and many find inspiration in obscure things, just like Jawaher mentions, because they give meaning to what they believe.
1. How does the Emirati culture influence your designs?
“The Emirati culture not only influences my designs but is the basis of the brand. I started By Jawaher with headpieces at the beginning, which is part of our culture; our parents and grandparents used to wear headpieces, and we do now as well on cultural occasions.
Now the brand is known for gold accessories, and some pieces include pearls. All the materials being used are somehow connected to the Emirati culture.”
2. What is your creative process like when designing as an Emirati woman?
“I design pieces that I want to have, and I know are not available anywhere. As for how being an Emirati woman affect the process - when it comes to my jewellery, I design pieces that would be suitable for abayas or kaftans.
Creating pieces that I know Emirati women will love and appreciate and can include in their daily style.”
3. Which of your designs do you think will remain a staple in many women’s collection/wardrobe?
“I make sure to design timeless pieces that will stay years from now. If I had to choose, however, I think the collection that will remain a stable will definitely be the Moons collection.”
4. What are your major inspirations? And do you think having an inspiration is vital for your brand?
“I think we are always inspired, whether we realize it or not. Creating any piece is always driven by some kind of inspiration, whether it's from someone or something.
Yes, I do believe inspiration is vital because, without it, we will not be motivated to create. As for me, I am inspired by everything and everyone around me. My major inspiration I would say are the people around me and closest to me. And also the unusual and unique.”
5. What would you say to those that have similar dreams as you in starting their own brands? Were you risk-taking when you decided to initially start?
“Starting any kind of business is always a risk, but the risk of failing is always greater than not trying at all. I have failed many times, sometimes I feel like I still do, but how else am I going to learn? Risks are what push me to be better.
So to those who want to start their own business, go for it, or you will never know how good you are. If you have a talent, it's a shame to waste it.
Aisha is an intern with Gulf Today. She covers the Emirati community, culture, and food.
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