Photography courtesy Dima Jewellery
Dima Rashid has made a name for herself on the Egyptian jewelry scene and is as loved and admired as her beautiful creations. The Kuwaiti-born, Canadian-raised designer arrived in Egypt and it was not long before she became known for decorating beautiful women in equally beautiful, carefully handcrafted jewelry.
Using only the highest-quality stones, precious gems and alluring pearls matched with 18-karat gold, Rashid’s designs are simple and a perfect representation of fine art. Worn on the covers of international fashion magazines, by the original supermodel Naomi Campbell, Heidi Klum and A-list celebrities the likes of Victoria Beckham, Vanessa Williams and Eva Mendes, Rashid’s pieces are being sold at the finest boutiques all around the world.
Ahead of the launch of her Zamalek boutique last month, we chatted with the inspirational designer about her love for jewelry and her career, her advice for designers and tips for essential jewelry every woman needs to have.
Tell us your story with jewelry and design.
I’ve always been in love with gemstones, a passion I’ve inherited from my father who collected antique jewelry and had a particular fixation on stones which he introduced me to at a very young age. But it was only when I was in London and took up a beading workshop to create a special gift for my friend that I realized my passion for jewelry. I was completely in love.
What was the first ever piece of jewelry that you created?
It was a charms necklace with pearls, blue calcedony, and my own personal baby charms which I remember were a Scorpio sign and a family amulet.
Who is the Dima woman that you design for?
A refined woman who appreciates fine art and understands stones. She’s a jewelry collector, tasteful and daring, and finds [her] muse in being expressive. Stars like Heidi Klum, Eva Mendes and Naomi Campbell have worn your pieces; how have you managed to achieve international success.
How did you market yourself to reach such exclusive clientele?
It was a combination of being ready at the right time and the right place, a lot of networking and relationship building, people falling in love with the jewelry, and many coincidences.
How would you advise aspiring designers to go international?
First, they have to understand that sometimes you only get one chance to prove yourself so you always have to be prepared. But also to remember that nothing is impossible and that anything can be achieved. Coming from the Middle East or a different country makes it of course harder to penetrate international markets but with the right amount of networking, presence, market research and self-belief you can achieve anything. Be present, be resilient, and know your audience.
Tell us about your current collection
The new collection is very evidently different from the ones you’ve seen before yet they’re very much Dima. You’ll see more glamour, a lot of color, edge and drama. You’ll find a lot of warm stones and unique combinations from our signature 18kt gold, rubies and sapphires to blue lapis and green chrysophrase that you can wear on a night out, a festive dinner or even on the red carpet.
Which stones do you like using the most? And if you could only chose one to use for the rest of your life which would it be?
Opal. Always. Not only is it my birthstone but it’s been my favorite for the past 30 years. I find beauty in its depth and how it reflects a mix of other stones. When I look at an opal, I see pink sapphires, garnet, diamonds and many more.
Who are your favorite designers?
The Gem Palace; an Indian jewelry design house that I grew to love since a very long time ago. Their late designer and founder Munnu is one of my favorite designers. I’ve grown to love their timeless and priceless creations and Munnu’s evident passion for stones and color. I find his design approach very similar to mine; falling in love with a stone and creating a piece around it, making it the core-center of every design. Every piece is created as if it’s been the very first.
Who is your favorite style icon?
Queen Rania. She’s beautiful inside-out and I find her style very relatable, not exaggerated yet very individual. She’s not typical and she has a lot fun with her fashion which makes her a trendsetter in her own way. A working woman, a mother, and an active member of her community, all put together, makes her overall style empowering.
What is the staple item that you believe every woman should have in her jewelry box? And what is yours?
Every woman should have a pair of hoop earrings, something in pearls, something in turquoise and something antique. Naturally, these are also my own.
Where do you think the Egyptian jewelry industry stands today and how far does it still have to go?
We’ve been seeing a lot of new designers emerging from the younger generation. I see a lot of promise, potential and growth in the industry. What they do need, however, is a lot of support, educational opportunities and training on how to present their collections and get more international recognition.
What are you favorite accessories trends this season?
Mix and match will always be a fun trend and one that I’ll always love seeing on women.
Do you have any plans to venture into creating men’s jewelry?
Yes, men’s and bridal for sure are on our radar in 2018.
What are your plans for the future of your brand? Are you planning on opening up other showrooms around the Arab world this year?
We’ll be focusing a lot on our regional presence in 2018 with exhibitions and networking events. We’re also working on a lot of new and exciting collections that we can’t wait to reveal!
For a look at the new collection visit 1 El Kamel Mohamed St., Zamalek • Tel: (2012) 21709871