Inspired by designs from the 1920s and 1930s Art Deco period (think flapper girls, bold geometric prints and hints of chrome) Dubai-based cool-girl label KAGE has just announced the launch of its autumn/winter 2019 collection - and for the first time, they have launched an ecclectic collection of jewellery.
Over breakfast and a coffee, Basma shares all of the deets behind her latest collection...
Harper's BAZAAR Arabia: What's the story behind the name of the brand?
Basma Abu Ghazaleh: It's very difficult to come up with a brand name you love, not to mention that my former partner Arwa and I are polar opposites. After brainstorming quite a bit with our mutual friend, we started looking at our zodiac signs (Cancer and Gemini) and something clicked. If we could derive a bit of both of their personalities and combine them into one, it would portray exactly how KAGE came together. So, they got the 'Ca' from Cancer, the 'Ge' from Gemini, flipped the 'C' into a 'K' - and there you have it: KAGE. It felt right when we came up with it. KAGE is cool, it's strong, and it's easy to remember.
HBA: What is the inspiration behind this collection?
BG: The Art Deco period from the 1920s and the 1930s. It’s a period that I really love and I was so glad to find fabrics that reflected it, so I decided to create a collection based on that.
HBA: What would your advice be for someone wanting to start their own business as a fashion designer?
BG: It’s not a hobby, it’s a business. Designing and the creative process takes up about 20-30-percent of my time, everything else is more the operations, marketing and sales. So you need to take it very seriously, it’s a proper 9-6 job! You have to be motivated, dedicated and passionate about to keep up because it’s a very competitive industry to be in.
HBA: What made you decide to add jewellery into your collection for the first time?
BG: I love fashion jewellery, so I created pieces that I actually get to wear myself, earrings and hair pins. I’ve always loved hair accessories and it was always something I wanted to do, I was just waiting for the right time and the right collection to start it.
HBA: How did you come up with the design for the jewellery pieces?
BG: I took out a shell-like print from one of the dress fabrics and I created a mould from that. It was based on that mould that I created a collection of hair pins and earrings.
KAGE autumn/winter 2019 collection
Courtesy of KAGE
HBA: How would you describe the KAGE woman?
BG: She doesn’t take fashion too seriously, she’s effortless in the way that she dresses and she’s someone that likes to have fun.
Karen Wazen wearing KAGE's new hair pins:
HBA: What’s your favourite, go-to piece from the KAGE jewellery collection?
BG: The hair pins, I’m obsessed with all of the hair pins. We have three different kinds that I love to wear differently all the time.
May cover star Dana Hourani is a big fan of the hair pins:
HBA: What do you love the most about your job?
BG: The creative freedom!
HBA: Do you have any pet peeves?
BG: Slow walkers.
HBA: Which do you prefer, coffee or tea?
BG: Without a doubt, hands down, coffee. I double up, triple up!
HBA: If you could design an outfit for anyone, dead or alive, who would it be?
KAGE’s Autumn/Winter 2019 collection can be found in L’Etoile stores across the region, Harvey Nichols Riyadh and online in August.