Exclusive: Five Minutes With Sofia Al Asfoor

BY Maddison Glendinning / Aug 7 2016 / 21:40 PM

The Bahraini handbag designer talks about her ultimate #girlpower dinner table

Exclusive: Five Minutes With Sofia Al Asfoor
Exclusive: Five Minutes With Sofia Al Asfoor
Classic Handbags, Dhs13,500 each, Sofia Al Asfoor

Harper's Bazaar Arabia: How would describe your Spring/Summer '16 collection in five words?

Sofia Al Asfoor: Feminine. Bold. Luxurious. Empowering. Unique.

HBA: What were your inspirations for the mood board for this collection?

SAA: My pieces are for women who are in control of their destiny likened to goddesses and warriors. This season my inspiration was from Helen of Troy who was an immortal beauty, heroin of the Roman times and the face that sunk a thousand ships.

HBA: If you could invite five people to a dinner party, dead or alive, who would they be and why? 

SAA: Queen Rania, because she's an empowering, successful, feminine ambassador; Angelina Jolie, a successful celebrity role model fighting for charitable causes around the globe; J.W. Anderson, the head designer for Loewe, because he is a inspirational figure in my life and I interned for him when he launched his eponymous brand; Amal Clooney, as she is a high-profile lawyer who works with the UN to improve global recognition with important political cases; and Sheikha Mozeh, who is actively fighting to stop domestic violence and improve education for young people. Plus, she's a mother of seven which is also inspiring! 

HBA: Who was your style icon in 2006? How would you say your style has changed since then?

SAA: I had two: Audrey Hepburn and Victoria Beckham. In the last 10 years, I've developed an appreciation for simplicity. Over the years my taste has become more refined through influences from art and craft to brands. I love the Middle Eastern style, as it's very refined and luxurious.

Travel handbag, Dhs23,000; Shield handbag, Dhs13,000; and Travel handbag, Dhs23,000, all Sofia Al Asfoor

HBA: Where do you see your business in five years from now?

SAA: My brand is currently being sold in Galeries Lafayette, Saks Fifth Avenue, 51 East Doha, Tryano Abu Dhabi, soon to be Bloomingdales', Alta Moda Riyadh, DNA Chic Riyadh and we have just launched our very own e-commerce website.

Next year I am expanding outside of the Middle East and will be selling in Saks Fifth Ave USA, Harrods and Lane Crawford Hong Kong. Within the next five years, I will open my first standalone store in Dubai and am developing a fine jewellery line to complement my luxury bags. 

Sofia's S/S16 collection is available to shop online at www.sofiaalasfoor.com