While developing her clothing line, Samaher Bayazeed recalled what her mother and grandmother wore growing up in the Middle East.
“I always felt empowered seeing their easy feminine Middle Eastern modern looks with their independent strong personality,” she explained.
Originally inspired to make a minimalist kaftan line, Bayazeed instead decided to combine her favorite silhouettes with motifs from her culture — and Fedda was born from it.
Based in New York, the brand confronts “a maximal cultural aesthetic with minimal design.” The pretty pieces are tailored to make an impact, featuring airy angles, and bold buttons. “Fedda,” which is Arabic for Silver, represents a fashionable woman Bayazeed grew up admiring, who wore showy clothes but had a “simple personality and a kind heart.”
The brand also only works with producers, suppliers and workshops that operate ethically.
“Through my masters I started to learn more about sustainability and wanted to start a business that brings the light on these values,” Bayazeed explained.
Some of the materials used in production include organic linen and handwoven cotton, sourced from Addis Ababa. They work with local workshops based in Istanbul and Brooklyn, that allow transparency in their supply chain.
Bayazeed is also working on an intimates line—the idea of which came to her after traveling to Ethiopia.
“I found this place where they help women in prostitution to join the work force and help their families as well. They are the only place that teach women how to handloom as this part is usually done by men,” she explained. “When I got the fabric, I wanted to make a slip dress to wear to a party. I found this amazing woman in Brooklyn and from there I started to really see why intimate is the best thing we can do with this fabric.”
To her, intimate wear is not only an outlet for private self-expression, but a means to provoke intimate conversations.
“Intimates and how we were them in my opinion bring out our most authentic selves,” she said.
The line, prospectively called Zaina, will launch in 2019 and celebrate the women who create it as well as wear it.
More about Fedda can be found here.