Farah Nasri is the design-force behind HOOKED | HKD – the Dubai-based brand set to showcase fantasy-inspired jewellery at NJAL’s immersive-experience pavilion at Meet d3. With a background in architecture, Narsi merges 3D-printing technology with raw, handmade qualities to create avant-garde jewellery that’s more synonymous with sculpture. In NJAL's continued focus on concept, development and process–HKD invites you to an intimate corner with inspired moodboards.
HKD draws on a creative dialogue between dynamic geometry to float through a spatial age and create high-end jewellery with sci-fi dynamism, inspired by Salvador Dali's surrealist forms. Just before NJAL opens the door to its physical debut in the Middle East, HKD shares the winding journey of creativity and breaks down the particulars of process.
How did you get into fashion?
I’ve always swam in a creative current. After graduating from architecture school, it only seemed organic to architect my own world through establishing a brand. I was already obsessed with 3d printing jewellery at university and that's how HKD came about.
Where are you from?
I'm originally from Lebanon, and based in Dubai. Lebanon is probably where I feel most inspired. It’s war-torn nature forces you to react to what you go through on a day-to-day basis creatively. But I don't feel that I'm from a particular place so to speak. I create that ‘place' through my label. I really love the concept of branding, and during my first year, that's where my focus was; creating HKD's DNA.
How did you define your particular style or approach to fashion?
Edgy, sci-fi, yet elegant and modern. I enjoy combining the masculine with the feminine and using contradicting materials too: pearl and resin, or gold leaf and resin. The contrast in my work shifts the attention away from 'precious' jewellery to 'experimental' 'contemporary' jewellery. Innovative use of materials is the future of statement luxury jewellery, especially with the growth of concept stores. I love it when a woman looks extremely chic but not too fashion. A confident woman wearing strong abstract jewellery is the most powerful imagery to me.
What has influenced your approach?
Art history and mythology. Story telling is a big part of my brand. Every piece has a name and story behind it. Technology, architecture and sculpture have also heavily influenced my collections. HKD pieces are 'wearable sculptures'; whether laying them out on a coffee table or fitting them on your fingers, they make a statement.
What is the problem with fashion today?
Its speed is making it seem futile and less significant. Obsessions over dictated trends and having to sell is pushing brands into the commercial route that isn't necessarily the best focus for designers, if the fashion industry is to grow and develop over the years. It all feels a bit stagnated, with the exception of some upcoming brands who have a strong identity and story to tell.
What does the future of fashion look like?
Fashion will need to start communicating to its costumers in more creative yet economical ways. We just started opening up a series of guerrilla stores around the region as part of HKD's organic retail strategy. HKD's Guerrilla is a mobile jewel that pops up in vacant spaces. Championing a mix of luxury and street, this monumental yet ephemeral project space is going to be very different from any space the jewellery has been displayed in before; showing the true identity of the HKD brand.
It’s almost expected that designers sell online these days, is this the way forward for new designers?
The concept of online has been the main drive behind HKD, whether its social media like Instagram or online stores such as the one on our website (www.h-k-d.net) or NJAL, these platforms have created great and quick exposure that would have otherwise been impossible for a brand to generate in just 2 years time.
How does fashion affect your view of the world?
Fashion has been so much a part of me for as far as I can remember. It's probably due to growing up around my well traveled mother. I think that design in general and fashion in particular, makes you more sensitive and detail oriented.
Which other new/emerging designers do you respect and why?
Jacquemus, for his non budging personal approach to fashion. I also enjoy wearing his pieces myself. His playful clothes are just the perfect layer to add to my playful jewelry.
In your own words describe your last collection
Toibijou reflects a dialogue between high-end jewellery and playful toys, the sci-fi dynamic geometries float through a spatial age, inspired by Salvador Dali's surrealist forms.