Sara Bahdelah: Making a sparkling statement

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Updated 18 February 2015

Sara Bahdelah: Making a sparkling statement

Sara Bahdelah: Making a sparkling statement

Saudi accessory designer Sarah Bahdelah has a passion for colors and textures. Her love for all things beautiful started when she studied interior design that helped her pay attention to small details.
She started her career by selling assorted accessories that she would buy from all over the world. With time, she developed the skills needed to design her own line of accessories. Bahdelah is now a famous Jeddawi accessory designer who sells her products all over the GCC countries.
We met with Bahdelah at her home-based boutique and learned more about her passion for accessories and the art of making it.

Who is Sara Bahdelah?
Sara Bahdelah is an interior design graduate who has a love for fashion, especially jewelry and accessories, and has studied jewelry design.

What attracted you to fashion?
I have this strange obsession toward fashion. I don’t know why but I always say that shopping is cheaper than a psychiatrist, so whenever I put an outfit together I feel satisfied and happy! So basically that could be the reason behind my interest in fashion, it’s such a huge deal for me.

What do accessories mean to you?
Accessories and jewelry in general are pretty. An outfit is never complete without a nice piece of accessory, especially statement pieces. So whether you’re dressing up an outfit, giving a gift or updating your simple pair of studs — jewelry may mean something different to every woman.

When did you start designing accessories? And how?
I used to chose jewelry making instead of basketball or art for free classes in high school.

Describe your style of accessories.
I don’t follow a certain line of style! Whatever comes to my mind and reflects my mood I just go for it. One day I feel hippie, the other day I am too classic. I transform my feelings into a piece of accessory that can describe something in each and every woman.

What inspires you when designing a new line?
Everything beautiful in the surrounding inspires me! The beauty of nature sometimes, the craziness in certain music, historical heritage, religious art, the vibes of love, color combinations of venetian balconies and Turkish tiles ... a lot actually. My inspiration is endless.

How do you update yourself with international fashion trends?
One of the best resources to find the latest in fashion today is the Internet. I get plenty of information from dedicated fashion sites, blogs and so on. Apart from the Internet resources and TV channels, there are various prestigious magazines dedicated to fashion. These magazines have created a niche for themselves in the fashion industry and are considered one of the most sought after mediums to get the latest info about fashion today. Last but not the least, it is important to remain active in social circuits. By attending general get-togethers and going out with friends to happening places, I stay updated the most.

Tell us about your new accessory line.
Basically I improved some of my previous designs using different materials and a variety of stones and colors.
The Vintage Garden collection Part 2 is the newest basic line that includes 'Flower Earrings' combined with several kinds of droplets. You will find more rhinestones, flowers, baroque pearls, rubber and leather, in addition to kids’ accessories.

What types of accessories feature in your new collection?
The collection is about layering and stacking simple and tiny pieces together in order to create a statement.
Necklaces, earrings, ear cuffs, palm bracelets, full finger rings, cuffs, bracelets, etc. — it’s all about making a statement.

Do you see yourself designing other types of accessories in the future?
Yes of course! As long as I am using silver and semiprecious stones, I would continue expanding in jewelry.

Who are your favorite high-end and affordable accessory designers?
My number one favorite is Chanel for classics, Dolce and Gabbana, then come the stylish Oscar De La Renta, Lanvin and Saint Lauren.
I also love Anna Dello Russo’s creations very much!

Are there any designers who influence your style?
I would say the femininity in Chanel, the mature lady in the luxurious Tiffany and the nature creativity in Van Cleef & Arpels.

What is your favorite season for fashion and why?
I like it when it’s cold outside. With winter come cheery things like hot cocoa, crackling fires and puppies in coats. Seriously, I can’t resist. But nothing defines the season of snow, sleet and rain quite like chilly weather and the bundled up, hyper-layered outfits that follow. You can go beyond the standards. Winter always makes me feel perfectly dressed like a model on a runway.

What are the materials you use in your designs?
I use everything from plastics to rubbers, crystals to gemstones, silver and copper to gold plated metal, chains and fabric ribbons.

Which of your current designs is your favorite?
That would be the Lady Like Chunky Crystals statement necklace. It demands all eyes to be on you without saying a word.

What is your favorite thing about your job? Are there any negatives?
This is such an exciting sector to work in, it’s fast-paced and always changing! My favorite part is when someone calls for an urgent gift or when I meet a woman rocking any of my designs by coincidence. Being in fashion requires you to be social all the time, it’s so much fun!
Regarding negatives, now there’s a lot of competition in this field because it’s really tough and you need to be more thick-skinned and up to date than what you really are. So you’ll need plenty of work experience and time to spend on researches, I won’t say to beat others but to be self-esteemed — that would be more professional.

How would you like your clients to feel when wearing your designs?
Proud, elegant and stylish.

What’s your favorite old, can-never-throw-away piece of accessory?
A Chanel brooch pin

Where do you see yourself in five years?
I am happy where I am right now as I am that kind of person who lives each day as a blessing! That doesn’t mean I am not looking forward to increasing and getting bigger in my business. Whenever things are meant to be, they will be. Just work hard.

Where can we find your collection? Where do you wish to sell?
At my mother’s shop, Nadia Alabdullah Boutique located in Jeddah. We also deliver worldwide. People may check out our latest through our Instagram page @saracollection and place their orders via e-mail ([email protected]).
We will be selling our masterpiece designs at some high-end department stores around the country very soon.
I wish to sell internationally of course. I would love to be at Harrods, Bloomingdales, Galeries Lafayette, Harvey Nichols ... lots and lots more, it’s a wish list.

[email protected]