“The rest, as they say, is HISTORY.”
Two sisters. Mum loved to knit. Gap year but no travel plans. Next: Unique entrepreneurial spirit mixed with family knitting sessions. Result: Genius brand for high fashion knitwear called Domakaya [a fusion of the designing family’s names ~ like we said, GENIUS, right?] now at Saks Fifth Avenue and featured in this month’s Vogue, New!, Teen Vogue, Instyle, Company and Heat magazines. The Fashion Bubble was able to interview one of the fabulous London-born Lebanese sisters behind Domakaya, Karima Riachy, who gives us an inside-scoop on how to be a success and a revolutionary in the ever perilous world of fashion.
Q: How did you come up with your fabulous designs? What inspires you?
A: I get inspiration from everywhere: wildlife, street style, different cultures, and art. I also love finding old vintage pieces and elaborating on them. I am constantly ripping things out of magazines and sketching in my scrap books. Sometimes I think I am designing a bag and after a few hours it turns into something completely different. It’s a lot of experimenting.
A: Domakaya specialises in the design and production of limited-edition handmade knitted and crocheted accessories, and we believe it is the unusual skills and old school, hand-finished touches that make these products so beautiful and different. Domakaya uses organic yarns that are hand-dyed which makes every piece an original.
Q: Your pieces are truly works of art! What statements do you try to make with your company and its designs?
A: Thank you! I never like to conform with any of my designs and try and keep them all original, especially with the flower bags and mohicans, and therefore I like to encourage everyone to step out of the box and be an idividual and enjoy themselves with their clothes.
Q: Tell us a little about yourself ~ how did you start?
A: Domakaya was started up by me, my sister and mum in London in 2002. My mum had taught me how to knit and crochet from a young age and so when I decided to take a gap year but didn’t plan any big trips abroad, I started making hats and bags for some friends, which they loved. Slowly word got around and friends of friends wanted them too! So me, my sister and mum organised a house sale. The rest, as they say, is history.
A: Thank you so much! It has been a tough journey but completely worth it. We are constantly working on expanding the brand world wide. I think when you have your own company there is always an uncontrollable will to have your company succeed beyond your own expectation. It is also always an amazing feeling when I see someone walking down the street wearing a Domakaya piece or seeing it in a magazine photoshoot; I get so much enjoyment out of those small things that it drives me to keep going. We hope to eventually open our own store here in London. For me that would be a dream.
A: I am loving the new mohican hats in all the crazy colours! I can also never leave the house without a pair of flower handwarmers:) They brighten up any outift and mood.
A: Thanks so much. Well, it depends on what they are going for. When I go shopping, I go for comfort first and originality. I love finding one-off pieces. I think if it puts a smile on your face and makes you feel good when you try it on then it’s a keeper!
A: That’s hard! I do always love making the hats. They can be the base to something more demure and elegant or crazy and elaborate, and I love that flexibility. It makes it very exciting for me.
Q: What advice would you give young, aspiring fashionistas who perhaps have a dream of opening a boutique or a collection of their own design someday?
A: Take it slow, make a plan and make sure you want it enough because it is hard work. Then I would say go for it! Follow your dreams! Don’t be scared or disheartened by what people say. Just persevere. And if you love it enough it will come out in your work and people will feel it.
Thanks so much, Karima!
And if you’re LOVING Domakaya’s gorgeous lines & feeling the wintery winds coming your way like we are, check it out now @ http://domakaya.com/09/
WE LOVE DOMAKAYA!
Photos & Press Kits graciously provided by Domakaya.