Shamsha Alabbar Collection: Unusual, Unconventional, Stunning
Arabic calligraphy has deep-rooted cultural and historical roots in Arab Art, Architecture, Literature, Design and more. Now Arab calligraphy has been catching on as an international trend as well. Meet with Shamsha Alabbar, one of the most promising designers selected by “Vogue Italy” to showcase their collections at the Vogue Fashion Dubai Experience 2014.
The beautiful and talented jewellery maker talked me through the story behind the brand, with a burning passion that reflects on her designs. Shamsha finds beauty in the most unusual places which lead her to design such an usual and fabulous collection based on the Arabic Typography.
Her culture, traditions and values, are at the core of what she does, making her brand stronger than never. As one of the most exciting Middle Eastern jewellery designers of 2014, I think it is safe to say that Shamsha Alabbar isn’t showing any signs of slowing down and will certainly hit us with another spectacular collection.
Stay tuned and follow the local Emirati, an unusual designer, like no other.
How would you define your collection?
Shamsa Alabbar is an experimental line based on Arabic typography in order to create unusual beauty.
What drives your creativity?
My collection is based on traditional Arabic calligraphy that has been an integral part of the Arabic culture for thousands of years. I re-worked it and shaped it up to create something unusual and simultaneously beautiful.
Where does your inspiration come from?
As a designer I always had a huge interest in typography. The Arabic typography has lots of rules which need to be respected. I tried my very best to follow the basic guidelines while adding my personal touch.
Does your collection have a theme?
Arabic, edgy, modern, geometric and unusual.
How often do you introduce new designs?
We introduce new design twice a year.
How did you start your business?
It started out as a birthday gift for my best friend Alia. That night, I started playing around with different shapes: triangles, circles, semi circles, squares, and lines. Creating the name and trying to make it look appealing was rather hard at first. The difference between my very first sketch and how it ended up was huge! I came up with the name by placing different Arabic scripts around my work area as a reminder of the basic rules of calligraphy. When I was finally satisfied with the outcome, I contacted one of my first supporters and mentor Fatima Alqassimi owner of Sough Jewels who guided me through the journey.
Who was instrumental to your success?
I would say my best friend Alia, whom I designed my very first piece for.
Do you have any sketches for when you started? How do they differ from those you are sketching now?
Yes, I do have many of them. I try to keep my designs consistent in order to have a strong image for my brand. The main difference in my designs nowadays is the fact that there are becoming so much more complex and elaborated.
What’s next for you?
My brand is abstract, next would be going even more abstract and complicated! On my first launch, I introduced classic pieces but I am now planning on introducing more wearable but unusual designs!
Any stories about yourself, your designs or your business, you’d like to share with us?
The whole idea behind the collection is to introduce letters as a form of art. All pieces are not legible, there all carry different geometric shapes but put together create such beautiful forms. This experimental line has been designed for art lovers, people into culture and unusual designs, who dare to be different.
How would you describe yourself as a designer in 3 words?
Arabic, Modern, and Unusual.