Jewellery is a personal state of the art that everyone in the room can see; but, only the wearer can truly hear. For many years, earrings have whispered their secrets in her ears while rings have grabbed her fingers in solidarity during moments of need.
Personal and loud is how she has always described her daily companions. Through thick and thin, she and her jewellery have always been inseparable. With every day spent in their company, she came to learn their curves and edges. Before she knew it, her fingers started to quiver in need to create rings rather than just wear them.
As she grew, the companions became story tellers that have seen it all happen and were now taking the shape of each story in her life. Deena Wagdy is a jewellery designer that leads a new generation of local artists.
Along with her talent as well as a childhood surrounded with jewellery and craft, Wagdy is a Design-Studio alumni that has polished her talent with knowledge and practice before putting women under her charm with silver and gold masterpieces.
As elaborate and resistant as a phoenix, the local jewellery and fashion industry has risen back to glamour during the past five years. Despite the young age of this come back, entities such as the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy are giving raw talents a solid platform to shine faster and easier than those before them.
On command, fresh water pearls take center stage while silver and gold unite. Their commotion inspire power and beauty; just like the woman that chose them in the early morning. They settle on her ear lopes and stand tall in the face of the day looming ahead.
On the other hand, rubies and sapphires flump in minimal chockers before the clique decide to surround vocal cords; allowing the woman in the middle of it all to speak of her thoughts loud and clear.
The collection plays on the sharpness of geometry as well as the romance translated by a rainbow of precious stones. While lines directly draw attention to the sharpness indicated in the wearer’s character, the evident raw craftsmanship creates a window for a spontaneous desire to stand out.
Daily News Egypt sat with Wagdy to talk about a childhood among raw materials and tools, studying at the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy and jewellery business.
What encouraged you to start your own jewelry label?
I have always liked making things; working with my hands since I was a child, I used to make my own picture frames, bracelets, necklaces, and notebooks.
I love jewelry and I have always dreamed to become a jewelry designer at one point of my life. Therefore, it was natural that I enrolled in the Design Studio, where I studied “the basic techniques of jewelry making & design”. I was certified by the Design Studio and Alchimia Contemporary Jewelry Design School in Florence to professionally practice my passion.
After graduation, I took the leap to set up my own jewelry workshop at the basement of my home before I started spending at least an hour and a half working every day.
For me, jewelry is a state of mind that fills me with emotions and inspiration; therefore, it was equally important for me to work on my skills as a maker as well as a designer. Being a designer allows me to pour my ideas into elaborate sketches. On the other hand, being a maker further connects me to the piece from starting with raw materials all the way to the moment it becomes a tangible piece of art.
I wanted to have my own identity; to be able to create jewelry that talks to real women. Jewelry that understands their struggles and victories, touches their lives and most importantly empowers them.
How would you put your label into words?
Timeless, modern, versatile, with an edge – these are the words that best define my jewelry.
My jewelry is all hand-made; one piece at a time. Each prototype is made by myself in my home studio. My line is characterized by constant opposition; blending Sterling Silver with 18K Gold or plating.
My current design aesthetic depends on combining feminine sophistication with edginess. The designs are modern; yet, versatile; you can mix and match them your way – it all depends on your mood and how you feel.
I do not like to follow trends; my jewelry is for women who flaunt strong sense of personal style and do not conform to rules. My designs are inspired by women, who are willing to experiment and are often courageous in all aspects of their lives.
Individually, each piece is an escapade of self-discovery. Each collection has a story; meanwhile, each ring and earring is an independent chapter in that story. While a ring might convey how a woman feels, another talks about her dreams; together they build an armor that can take her where she aspires.
What is your main inspiration?
My inspiration comes from a broad perspective. With that said, the body is probably my starting point. I love how shapes reflect, outline, and play over the body’s curves and angles. I rarely start with an exact projection of how it will turn out; instead, I begin with how I would like to feel wearing it or how it should reflect on the woman wearing it.
Meanwhile, our rich Egyptian heritage serves as one of my major inspirations as well. I am constantly inspired by architecture, geometric shapes and various forms that my eyes regularly fall on throughout my everyday routine.
How would you evaluate the local jewelry market?
During the past couple of years, the jewelry market has completely changed. Any observer can notice the accelerating number of new emerging talents that create beautiful pieces. The local jewelry scene has become quite competitive, which is a good thing for sure!
Do you depend on handmade work or machinery?
All my jewelry is handcrafted. There is Zero machinery in anything I create, which makes my pieces personal and unique. I like to create the first prototype of every piece in my collection in my own studio to make sure that the piece would turn out exactly like I have imagined it, when sketching it. Then, I work with local craftsmen in Cairo to produce the quantities I need.
Can you name few individuals (designers/fashion icons) that inspire your designs & aesthetic as a designer?
Coco Chanel is my fashion icon; on parallel, Alexis Bittar is no doubt my favorite jewelry designer.
How far did your start at the Design Studio reflect on your personality and aesthetic as a designer?
Studying at the Design Studio by Azza Fahmy exposed me to different international artists that I closely learned from and in return inspired me in so many ways. My time at there has also empowered me to create pieces that can reflect my very own personal style. I will forever be grateful to my instructor Farah Abdel Hamid and Ulrich Reithofer in helping me learn everything I know today; they have truly supported me all the way.
In your opinion when was the golden age of local jewelry and why?
Personally, I believe that the Pharaonic era was undoubtedly the golden age for jewelry in Egypt. Ancient Egyptians valued personal jewelry, which included statement necklaces, cuff bracelets and amulets; all made from pure Gold and precious stones. The designs were absolute stunners with the most exquisite details.