Sama and Haya Khadra are not your average twins. The 22-year-old Palestinian pair multitask as DJs, creative directors, models, street style stars, and buyers for their mother's store, The Art of Living, in Riyadh. Now they've just earned themselves another title: jewellery designers. The Khadra sisters are the latest to work with Jacquie Aiche, creating a 15-piece capsule collection. Bazaar caught up with one half of the oft-photographed duo to talk about their latest project.
Harper's BAZAAR: Is this the first time you've collaborated with a designer?
Sama Khadra: It's our first official collaboration. As buyers, we've collaborated with designers on pieces for the store, [but not in an official capacity]. It's great because often when I wear clothes, I customise them to myself and a lot of my friends are like, 'Oh I want that!' or like, 'How can I get it?' and it's like, 'I just made it.' Doing an official collection where people can buy it and have it, wear it, it's just rewarding. It feels so good.
HB: So you would custom-make your own jewellery before?
SK: Yes, especially with Jacquie. That's how we got into the whole collaboration — we would always make custom pieces for ourselves. If I had an idea for a piece, and Jacquie couldn't do it, I found a jeweller in downtown L.A. and asked if they could make a specific piece for me. We have so many ideas, we always wanted to do custom pieces for ourselves.
HB: Why did you choose to team up with Jacquie Aiche? How did you learn about her work?
SK: I saw her body chains in the beginning. I really loved her aesthetic and I loved how dainty and delicate everything was. And then I just asked my friend, I remember one day just being like, 'Do you know this designer?' — and it was years ago, maybe four-five years ago—and she was like, 'Oh yeah, she's L.A.-based.' She took me to the showroom and I saw all the pieces and I was like, 'Oh my God, we have to get connected.' I wanted to buy her for the store. So we started working with her on that basis. And eventually that developed into a relationship where we did custom pieces, and eventually a collaboration.
HB: What was your inspiration behind this collection?
SK: Well the inspiration behind this collection was sacred geometry. Its patterns that are used in religious art and structures because it has this designed power to shift energy and raise frequencies and block negativity. Within the shapes is the harmonics of everything in existence, like the math behind why everything and everyone is connected. And I thought that was such a beautiful concept and I thought it would be so amazing to make jewellery that had an intention, that generated a field around the person.
HB: The colour scheme in your collection was inspired by the seven chakras. Could you talk a little more about that?
SK: The chakras are kind of something that is more familiar to people than sacred geometry, although of course, it's all connected. Even if people don't really know what it is, then knowing that the colors of the jewellery are inspired by the chakras will kind of open them up to learning more about it. And it that makes me happy that people can learn something different and be more conscious in that way.
HB: Do you consider yourselves really spiritual? Is that why you chose these inspirations?
SK: Not really. I think around the time that we started doing the collection, I was reading a lot of books about synchronicity and consciousness. That was the phase that I was going through at the time, and now I'm so happy that I went through that phase because I have an awareness of the bigger picture of things.
HB: What's your creative process like?
SK: We have like 20 ideas a day because we always have our eyes open to being inspired. It's so funny because I always call my manager and I'm like, 'I wanna work with this artist and I have this idea for this person!' We're visionaries, so our whole brand is kind of 360 degrees.
HB: Describe your personal styles.
SK: I say the essence of our style is like it was when we were younger, like when were five to eight years old. We were beach kids, we always spent our summers in Ibiza, we were super '90s, we wore a lot of crop tops, combat boots, mixing and matching. For us, it's always boot season. Our style also depends on what city we're in. We love a scene. So we take more risks in London, in Paris it's a little more dressed up. We like going with the flow of the city, and L.A. is always a little more relaxed.
HB: Are there any big differences between your and your sister's styles?
SK: We both share all the same clothes. We have a sporty, edgy, boyish influence in everything that we wear, so we like the feminine stuff—like jewellery for example—that's very dainty and kind of is like a second skin. I love to wear like Adidas and a heel and jewellery.
HB: Since your styles are so similar, was it easy to work together as sisters and make a cohesive collection?
SK: Oh yeah. We complement each other a lot in our work. I do most of the talking and she does a lot of the technical side. We work in that way so well. When we were in school, we kind of took advantage of the fact that we were twins so we would switch classes and she would go to my math classes and I would do her English and art classes. So in that way we complement each other so well, and we're very aware of our strengths.
HB: What's your favorite piece in the collection?
SK: I think the bra chain is my favorite right now because I love a deep-V and wearing body chains, and the bra chain is kind of an idea that we just came up with that Jacquie hadn't really done before. I mean, she's maybe done versions of it but that specific bra chain, I think it's so subtle and sexy that you can wear it under anything and it'll make you feel different.
HB: What's your jewellery philosophy?
SK: Basically, tons of rings. I always wear maybe 14 rings, and layer little necklaces and stuff. It's not like I wear a bold piece of jewellery. It's great, I love doing a bold piece, but my philosophy is the smaller pieces layered.
HB: What kind of girl do you see wearing your jewellery?
SK: I think any girl that's confident with her own character who kind of carries herself in a way that's really cool, and people are like, 'Oh, what is she about?' She holds confidence and mystery and has her own sense of style. She knows what she's about—that's the kind of girl I see wearing our jewellery. And also, of course because it has all the sacred geometrical elements, she's somebody who's conscious and has this lens for awareness.
The Jacquie Aiche x Sama + Haya collection is now available on jacquieaiche.com. Via Harper's Bazaar US