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Exclusive Interview with Fameed Khalique

Exclusive Interview with Fameed Khalique

We catch up with the boundary pusher behind the textile world’s most intricate designs

Jon Sharpe
By Jon Sharpe, Chief Creative Officer

Fameed, what has been your path into creating luxury textiles and surfaces?

I never expected to end up doing what I do now. I always wanted to be a British Airways pilot! But I started off producing fashion shows and wound my way via public relations, working for a logistics company and then a couple of publishing companies before I landed in interiors. I worked for a leather company which was my introduction to interiors and then I set up on my own selling leathers and it all grew organically from there. I’ve always been interested in fashion and a lot of our clients do say that you can see it in the work that we create.

What excites you about creating such innovative designs?

I love artisanal techniques and finding ways of re-interpreting traditional materials by thinking laterally. But more than that I love it when we succeed in wowing and inspiring our clients by showing them things they may not have seen before, nor knew were possible. Like our peacock feather fabric made using real peacock feathers!!

Your mantra is “inspiring a more beautiful world” – where do you find inspiration for your work?

We source from all over the world and there really is no rhyme and reason to what inspires me. When I first see something I do rely on my intuition and if I get excited about something, then that’s usually a good sign. We’re about to launch a knitted leather curtain and embroidered raffia wall coverings collection – both which are made by hand. The former was inspired by a small panel I saw on a dress and the second by a panel on a handbag and I’m really excited to see what our clients make of these.

You’ve worked on some incredible projects – does any one stick out in your memory?

Working on Eclipse – the super yacht owned by Roman Abramovich – was fantastic but we’re now working on a larger boat and its on these types of projects that we really get to push the boat out and develop amazing new techniques and finishes. The process also tends to be much more collaborative on these types of projects with the designers eager to create spectacular spaces.

What’s your advice for choosing luxury textiles?

Natural materials are always a great place to start especially noble ones like silk and leather. Although nowadays combinations of natural materials (such as our leather hand loomed with silk) and synthetics mixed with natural fibres are also popular. I always love it when there is a back story to a material – whether its about the technique used or the person that made it – it makes for a great topic of conversation. Look for things that are out of the ordinary like textiles woven from copper wire and fishing wire!

What are some key textile trends to look out for right now?

Leather is still a key material but used in more innovative ways. Whether it’s woven to look like an Aran sweater or plisséd and hand-embroidered, it really is an eternal material. Incredible embellishments using different hand embroidery techniques on fabrics are super hot right now – we can even embroider on rabbit fur which is pretty spectacular. Heavily textured and cracked plaster finishes are also big news along with sand, glass and flocking being used to decorate sheers and fabrics.