Are you joining the tribe?
[dropcap]When[/dropcap] you first meet the young designer of Bedouin Studios, Andraya Farrag, you are immediately infected by her positive personality and feel like she will create pieces that are not only fun to wear but also stylish (she is a graduate of Central Saint Martins after all). Bedouin Studios is one of the first brands I was introduced to at Fashion Forward and loved the bright colours, fluid fabrics and her take on affordable luxury.
Now for A/W 17 she is bringing a warmer touch to her collection with more cold weather appropriate pieces and I for one can’t wait to get my hands on a jacket with astrological embroidery. Read on to find out more about the brand and the designer…
Q&A with Andraya Farrag, Founder and Designer of Bedouin
What has inspired you to launch your own fashion brand?
I am half English and half Egyptian and grew up between London and Dubai therefore have always been surrounded by contrast. After doing my degree at Central Saint Martins I combined by love for fashion and travel by working and living in London, New York and Bangalore in India. I was lucky enough to work for established brands such as Marchesa as well as up and coming labels like Edun.
My final job was in India where I worked in a production factory designing embroidery for the likes of DVF, it was here that I decided to launch Bedouin. During my travels, I never knew where I may end up and as a result I struggled with my personal style. For a moment felt like I had to adapt to the surroundings by changing my style all together, I soon realised that it wasn’t the case at all. I learnt that I could honor my personal style while being adaptable by choosing the easy-to-wear, more versatile pieces that can translate from day to night. This idea, along with my love for cultural diversity was the initial inspiration behind Bedouin and still plays a heavy role in each collection.
Who is it designed for?
Although Bedouin is inspired by culture, diversity and tradition, those inspirations are translated for the contemporary spontaneous woman with a carefree spirit. The Bedouin Woman is a positive thinker, living a fast-paced global lifestyle with a love for travel, music and life itself! Each item is designed to be a “throw on” kind of item allowing her to navigate from day to night without spending too much time thinking about her outfit. Bedouin items are flattering and easy-to-wear yet still make a statement through attention to detail in the form of fabulous metallic Jacquards or minimalist embroidery.
What was the most challenging part about starting your own label?
I think starting your own label is such a personal thing and therefore the biggest challenges are quite personal too! I find the transition from going from a 9-to-5 job to sitting at my kitchen table with no one telling me what to do or having a steady income one of the most difficult thing at the start.
I took a huge sacrifice personally to follow this ambition, one I don’t regret, suddenly I had no time for my friends, was working day and night and putting every penny into the business. I must admit, nothing has changed there! Although I have upgraded from the kitchen table to a lovely little home studio, I still work on every single aspect of the brand and don’t have a fancy office space (yet). I have been very lucky to collaborate with some wonderful people, who really believe in Bedouin and for that I am eternally grateful.
Describe the idea behind AW17?
For AW17 we presented CARPE NOCTEM (meaning Live By The Night). After a political year I wanted to look at the earth as a whole, to encourage unity us all being part of one tribe. Rather than focusing on one culture in particular, I wanted to celebrate the diversity of the planet and the magic that surrounds it.
The collection is inspired by the vast galaxies and the magic they hold. Metallic jacquards and sequined tulles resemble striking skies, while luxurious velvets and textured wool represents the earth. CARPE NOCTEM has something for every dreamer, wanderer and explorer. Each piece created with the world traveler in mind, allows the wearer to effortlessly transform each item to suit her surroundings. With hems falling at ankle length, the evening wear can be styled with an elegant pair of heels or trainers for the edgy street style look.
Is there anything about Bedouin that you wish everyone knew?
Although I lived and studied in London for many years, BEDOUIN is home grown in Dubai, everything is manufactured ethically and all of our fabrics are responsibly sourced from Italy and Spain.
What is on your shopping wish list?
Vintage! I am really missing the vintage shops in London and that’s what I crave.
In three words describe your style in Dubai.
Understated, minimalist, monochrome
Best advice you’ve ever received?
Be yourself! Sometimes in the fashion industry you can meet intimidating characters and strong opinions which for someone like me has been a bit of a challenge. I was told to rise above it, be true to myself and to accept that everyone is different and that you can’t please the world. But in life, my biggest advice to anyone is to always be grateful for even the small things.
Which regional designers are you loving at the moment?
I love the work of my fellow CSM graduate Nafsika Skourti and of course Nathalie Trad!
What’s next for you?
There is so much happening for SS18 I don’t know where to begin. You can expect a broader collection this season with lots of exiting surprises and developments. We are really looking forward to launching this one!!
Night With Bedouin