November ‘13
Insight Interview

November ‘13
Amina Khalil
Amina Khalil


    


Amina Khalil is a very well known Egyptian fashion designer whose fame precedes her. The diversity and creativity of her creations led the Amina K brand to very well known. Her style has fused elements from London, Egypt and of course, her prevailing artistic sense that's undeniable and recognizable. Insight got the chance to talk to her as well as find out a little bit more about her latest collection.

If you had to collaborate with another fashion designer, who would it be?

I would collaborate with a cool leather designer. I would love to use their expertise and workmanship to create the coolest Amina K. exclusive leather pieces.


What do you enjoy the most about your work?

I think doing the Lookbook photo shoot. It is when I see it all come together and I get to really create the mood and theme of the season. I think that this is the high point for me. Also, once a collection is launched I love hearing my customers' feedback . It really makes all the hard work worth it.


Your fall/winter collection of 2013, titled Structured Pleats is simply amazing. What can you tell us about it?

I am glad you liked it! It is my favorite collection so far but I guess I feel that way about every collection. I think it is the most different because it is the least ethnic. It focused more on the technique of pleating and creating statement pieces that any woman wants in her winter wardrobe: the fitted blazers, the biker jackets, the color-blocked shirts, the comfy sweat pants. It has all the items I love wearing in my everyday life.


Your pieces are diverse, original and have an apparent spirit of fusion. How did you find this direction?

It just came natural to me I guess. It represents who I am as a person. Being born and raised in Egypt but having gone to international schools and living abroad for around 5 years, I have learned how to take the best out of both worlds to create a comfortable balance. I believe in trying to achieve the perfect balance in everything in life and when it comes to clothes, that's definitely one of them.


How did you know that fashion was your calling?

I just did. My love for clothes and putting outfits together has been there for as far back as I can remember. I knew that this is what I was going to do and everything I worked on lead me to this moment right now.


What was the first article of clothing you ever designed?

I have been designing since I was ten, playing around with sketching and thinking up outfits, not that they were any good though! In high school I used to revamp my friends' old jeans by cutting them up, dying them, adding patches, and all other sorts of things. As for my high school graduation project I designed and made a dress with the help of my grandmother's sister. I still have the dress till now.


What's the process you go through to design and realize a piece of clothing or line like?

Well, now the process is a whole lot different than when I was designing just for fun. When you're in the business of designing and making clothes, the first thing you think about when creating a collection is who your customer is and what they would like to wear. We start every season with a theme, an inspiration and lots of research that is done to develop a different story every season. Once we have a direction we begin to design the clothes. We translate all these ideas into wearable items. A design can go through several samples until all is approved. Everything must come together from fabric to fit to quality.


What matters to you most as a fashion designer?

Being consistent, reliable and continuously evolving. It's very important for me to maintain consistent quality and design in order for Amina K. to become a reliable brand. Every season I must launch on time with a new collection that will cater to my clients' needs. At the end it's about the relationship the designer builds with his or her customer. I am designing these clothes for them; so trust needs to be built between them and the brand.


How would you define your personal style?

I always try to find the perfect balance of casual chic. For my everyday style comfort is very important. I am very active and busy so I have to be comfortable with what I am wearing. I also believe a woman should always look good no matter how busy and stressed she is. There is no excuse for a woman to look messy. If you look good you will feel good.


If you had to wear one outfit for the rest of your life, what would it be?

Jeans, a shirt, and ankle boots.


What other experience do you have in the fashion industry?

I have interned in several fashion companies and got a chance to work in various departments such as sales, PR, fashion show production, distribution and production. I also took a lot of courses in photography and make up. I had a part time job working at a high-end jewelry store in London and a fashion magazine as well. I was lucky to get a well-rounded view of how the industry works.


What influences your style?

Everything really; from my mood to London street style and vintage pieces. Anything could influence me really, that's why I am always alert and keeping my eyes open.