MEET OUR DESIGNERS: BASMA ALSHATHER
Basma creates beautiful silk scarves under the brand name Basma Design, blending traditional artistry with digital innovation. With a background in design and marketing, Basma Alshather takes much of her inspiration from architecture and linear form. A former ceramicist, her work is displayed across the globe, from New Zealand to Japan. She is also mentor with The Prince’s Trust, helping young people to build their own businesses. Joining LDC for the first time for this year’s London Fashion Week, Basma shares some of her inspirations and aspirations for her brand…
Tell us a little about your brand
Basma Design is essentially wearable art, manifested through luxury silk scarves. Using traditional mono-printing techniques, I draw on my experience in design to harness linear form and abstract, architectural ideas, giving each scarf an individual and timeless quality and uniting art and fashion. My mission is to redefine the printed silk scarf by channeling Hollywood glamour and modest fashion with a strong flair of independence and spirit. Central to the ethos behind Basma Design is my belief that female empowerment can be found in making bold choices through what we wear and that no rules need apply in expressing ourselves. My goal is to bring a degree of liberation and empowerment through the timeless modesty and elegance of silk scarves and the independent, individual ways in which women choose to style them. Femininity, modesty and strength need not be mutually exclusive and my scarves embody that belief through fluid textile art.
Why have you chosen to partner with LDC?
The LDC has been championing emerging, brave designers and lifestyle brands since 2016, supporting like-minded designers and brands to collaborate by harnessing social media, experience led pop ups and shared insights. Having launched Basma Design less than year ago, this sort of sensitive, well-connected support was exactly the platform I needed to experiment in a customer-facing environment and within a creative space. The option to present my product to the public in a well-targeted area with the momentum of others has been fantastic fun and a continual education for me.
What is the ultimate goal for your brand?
To develop into an international brand, expanding the product range into menswear, textiles and a more extensive range of fashion accessories. I also would like to collaborate with designers and retailers. My work is experience led and my passion is to mix the new with the old, while observing beauty. My designs are hand-drawn and then produced using traditional printmaking techniques, making each scarf unique. Finally, the silk is printed digitally with the aim to preserve the texture of the AAA grade fine chiffon silk.
Ultimately I would like the brand to be recognised for its social values, craftsmanship and unity of responsible innovation and design.
Do you have any favourite pieces from your collection?
Each scarf design has its own meaning but I would say the Midnight Blue is my signature design. It’s one of the first prints I designed and the process was such an intuitive and experimental one that captures the passion of why I do what I do. Harnessing this experience, I consider the Midnight Blue something of a motivational muse.
Also, I feel I am in my ‘blue period’ just like Picasso, despite trialing other colours. The colour blue represents calm and serenity – reflected in the calm sea and a clear sky – creativity and confidence. Blue is one of the most popular colours at Basma Design and I think its mood-enhancing qualities have a lot to do with this.
If you weren’t a designer, what would you be?
I can’t think of another profession. I have studied design across the spectrum in different forms from interior design to ceramics, and from design strategy through to its relationship with marketing. I have always insisted on calling myself a designer even when I was working in marketing and, even now working in the fashion industry, I consider myself an artist and creative designer. It is part of who I am and part of my family DNA. Despite never meeting my grandfather, I am told that he was a lover of art, decorating the walls of his house with paintings and art and admiring it in the world around him. My own connection with art and designs means that I feel very close to him and could never imagine myself in any profession other than design, which I feel I was destined to pursue.
Check out Basma’s designs at basmadesign.com
Or follow her on instagram at @basma.design