Omani jewellery designer Hakima Al Said launched her eponymous jewellery line HAK The Label in 2018 with a vision of beautifully fusing cultural symbolism with contemporary design.
Finding inspiration from her international upbringing, which has seen her live in many countries throughout Asia, The Middle East, Europe and even Africa, her designs blend together the influences of many cultures and nationalities with a modern twist for today’s woman.
Her latest collection, “Wahiba”, was inspired by the Wahiba Sands of Oman and the endless rolling dunes. Running south from the Eastern Hajars down to the Arabian sea, the Omani desert is known for its amber coloured sands and unique animal and plant life. The hues of the sun and golden sand is portrayed through this modern collection. Gold rings, bracelets, pendants and earrings are inspired by the warm tones of the desert while the collection symbolically references the desert moon with moonstone and a green date farm oasis is represented by green Swarovski crystals which provide minimal embellishment to the polished styles. The collection features geometric patterns and fuses heritage with modernity. Described as heaven, Hakima Al Said portrays the beauty of the Wahiba Sands through a collection that honours heritage while evoking modern femininity. We discover more about the collection and her journey to success.
These past few months have been a trying time for everyone – how have you spent this year and what is something you have learned from this period?
When the lockdown first began, I was quite shaken like most people. But I adapted to it quite early on and utilized the time to work and learn about myself, about my brand and how I would like to proceed. I spent more time contacting family and friends, especially my sisters.
Will you be changing any of your plans moving forward?
As a person who likes to plan, everything has changed! In terms of my brand, I will not be working towards a specific fashion calendar, but rather towards my own schedule and what works best for me.
What is something positive that you think will come from this situation?
This situation has made everyone take a step back and slow down. The changes in the fashion industry have made us all re-evaluate strategies and design according to our own schedule. As a designer who incorporates sustainable methods, this has helped me to slow down and follow my creative process, working in a more thoughtful manner.
What can you tell us about the Wahiba collection – the inspiration, the design etc.
The Wahiba collection is inspired by the Wahiba sands – one of the deserts in Oman and one of my favorite places on earth. The golden sands, the oasis of date trees I often pass on my journeys and during the winter, the dunes sometimes have little green bushes, its perfection! You can be out in the middle of nowhere with nothing in sight but mountains of gold and solitude. This motivated me to design a collection that captures this essence.
Who is the woman you design for?
HAK The Label pieces are designed for everyone. It is not restricted to a “type” of person, as I strongly believe in one’s ability to freely express his or her self. My pieces are made in a way that a woman can style them according to how she sees fit.
We have seen you are influenced by your Omani culture – why do you think this is something that you find important to reflect in your designs?
Oman and Omani culture are beautiful; they are part of who I am. My heritage, my past, my present, my future. I have always been an ambassador for my country and I find joy in reflecting this in my brand. I wasn’t brought up in Muscat so moving back as an adult, I appreciated it and fell in love with the country and its beauty.
You had a very diverse upbringing, how do you think this has influenced what you do today?
I have had the opportunity to call many countries home; Asia, Middle East, South Africa and Europe. These experiences ignited my passion to incorporate a modern aesthetic to my designs.
Do you have a favourite piece from the collection?
My favourite piece would be the Coco. I like to stack earrings, and this little piece is a cute statement.
Your jewellery is designed in a way that it can be stacked or layered – do you think the ways in which women wear jewellery has changed?
The way women wear jewellery definitely has changed! Women wear it as a statement piece or accessorize it as a way to complete an outfit.
What first inspired you to get into jewellery design?
I have always had a love for jewellery but designing my own pieces happened by accident! While working as a graphic designer for a jewellery brand in London, I was captivated by the process involved. This experience taught me the different aspects of jewellery design and I slowly transitioned from a graphic designer to a jewellery designer.
How would you define success?
I believe it can be defined by how much you grow and learn. So whether it’s learning about yourself, your trade or the world around you, a commitment to learning is a commitment to becoming the best version of yourself.
What would you say is your biggest success so far?
Receiving positive feedback from my clients and seeing them wearing my designs brings me so much joy. That’s my biggest success so far and inspires me to keep moving forward.
How do you deal with setbacks or failures?
Any setback is just that, a setback. It doesn’t mean it’s the end. What’s important is how you get back up. So with any setback or failure I make sure to take time to learn, re-strategize and continue moving forward.
Can you tell us a little about your creative process?
My process has changed a bit and lately, I start with months of research. This is followed by editing, creating a mood board, sketching, doing technical drawings that then turns into CAD designs.
What can you tell us about the bespoke service you offer at HAK the Label?
I offer customized pieces to clients upon request. From start to finish, I work closely with them, understanding their ideas and preferences while working together to make it come to life.
What do you think is the importance of jewellery in a woman’s life today?
Jewellery is a part of a woman’s identity. It tells you who she is and adds a touch of confidence, beauty and edge.
What are some of your most important values that you have carried through to your brand?
Through my brand, I like to translate my heritage and its values through meaningful designs which defines the identity of HAK The Label.
As a successful business woman – what would be your advice to women in the region who are hoping to achieve their dreams and start their own business?
My advice would be to truly believe in yourself and just do it!
What is the professional motto you live by?
To believe in my passion, work hard and persevere in making this passion come true.
What is the vision for your brand?
I would love to see HAK The Label stocked at stores around the world and showcasing the Omani heritage through contemporary designs.
What was the first piece of jewellery you owned?
I wouldn’t be able to remember my first piece of jewellery as it is a big part of Middle Eastern culture from a very young age. My first piece was probably a pair of earrings or a bracelet as a baby. However, my favorite piece is an emerald ring from my grandmother.
If you weren’t doing what you were doing now what would you be doing?
Before I designed my own jewellery line, I was a jewellery designer and visual designer, which I still continue to do.
How would you describe HAK the Label in one word?