December 21, 2015 12:00 AM | by Diana Farid
Sami Amin: When Art and Passion Cross Paths
Sami Amin is one of the Egyptian brands that managed to break the clutter, ever since he launched his brand in the 90’s. He built a domain on his passion for handcrafts, art and drawing. Being inspired by the Egyptian culture makes his collections distinctive, mesmerizes the eyes of whoever sees it, and captures the heart of those who own it. Visiting his galleries leaves you in a mood that you don’t get every day; the logo, the interior design, the products, the way things are being displayed provokes authentic feelings that only Sami Amin owns. Now that the new 'Sky' collection is just released, we wanted to get closer look at why the brand is that unique, and get to know more about Sami Amin.
When was it when you fell in love with design?
I graduated from the Faculty of Fine Arts, Cairo, with a bachelor degree in architecture in 1988 but I started long before graduation, because I have always loved handcrafts and drawing. During my undergraduate years, I started designing few accessories and sold them to friends. People loved my work and asked me for more items till one day I thought of staring my own brand. Designing and sketching are my passion; the more I worked on it, the more I was assured that this is what I want to do for life. I didn’t take any courses; I learnt by vision, observations, researching and then from my own mistakes as I went along.
Sami Amin owns a very special spirit, what makes you different?
I am totally saturated by our culture and in love with our rich pharaonic heritage. Reflecting the Egyptian spirit is the most important thing in my work. Our heritage is significant to the world so we need to be the first ones to care about it and showcase its beauty in our work. My philosophy is to go back to our roots, revive our culture and show case its beauty in each and every piece.
What inspires Sami Amin, how do you translate your surrounding in these beautifully drawn pieces?
Starting every collection is a journey rather than a process where the inspiration for a new theme can arise from a thought, an exulted moment or any surrounding Egyptian detail that captures my soul. I believe that utilizing Egyptian culture elements in all my designs is the real catalyst for the brand’s success. Looking at “The word collection”, one of my recent collections, it had all sorts of positive words like happiness, joy, peace, blessings and so on. This was stirred by the fact being negative is becoming the trend; everyone around is complaining. Looking at “the sky collection” my newest collection, it was inspired by the pharaonic sky goddess Nut and the sun’s journey inside her body.
Tell us few words about your new 'Sky' collection.
In this collection, I was mesmerized by the pharaonic goddess of the sky “Nut” who used to personify the sky. Both the artistic shape of the goddess and the legend behind it made her an ingenious theme for his 2016 Sky collection. Egyptian legends claim that the sun would get swallowed by night and pass through her body to be reborn at dawn. This in itself was another inspiration where I wanted to highlight the resemblance between the sun journey inside Nut and our lives. Just like the sun passes through phases of light and darkness, so do we.
How did you consider doing your own mannequin?
Texture echoes richness, and this is reflected in my products and even the way I display them at my galleries. Last year, I decided I wanted to display on my own handmade sculptured looking mannequin. I bought normal mannequins and worked on them to make them look rough and natural like my designs, and thankfully they ended up beautifully.
What do you think about all those designers coming up in the market?
I am delighted with all those uprising designers coming up in the market, because the industry has never been that rich before. However, I hope to see more work reflecting our Arabic culture and capturing the Egyptian beauty.
What are your dreams and plans?
I dream to go international and see westerners wearing accessories that reflect our rich culture and heritage. Our culture is beautiful and the stories behind every collection are very interesting for foreigners, so I am planning to start being physically present in other markets very soon.