Walid al Damirji is someone who pursues his passions, wherever they may take him. So far, they have led to roles as different as creative director of British fashion label Joseph and co-owner of London-based bakery and chocolatier Cocomaya. But his latest venture is by far the most exciting to us here at Barneys New York: “By Walid,” a small collection of intricately crafted clothes, available exclusively at the Barneys New York flagships on Madison Avenue (212.826.8900) and in Beverly Hills (310.276.4400).
Each one-of-a-kind piece is hand-crafted using antique textiles, ranging from nineteenth century paisley and 1920s chinoiserie shawls to French cotton crochet, beautifully worn linen, silk tulle, leather and recycled furs. Under al Damirji’s expert eye, they take on new life as modern garments for discerning men.
Delve further into the By Walid world below, where we chat with al Damirji about his label and go behind the scenes in an exclusive video. We have no doubt you’ll agree that these are not just clothes for Spring 2013—they are clothes for life.
The Window: How did you get into fashion design?
Walid al Damirji: I have worked as a buyer, in production and as a creative director so the business has always been part of my working life. I was interested in design from an early age, ignited by my mother’s sense of style, and it just went quite organically from there.
What do you love about fashion?
The platform it offers for self-expression.
How would you describe your aesthetic?
Artisan. Respectful and a touch dignified.
Tell us a bit about the process that goes into each article of clothing.
Each piece is born out of a single textile or relic and is built around that, on a simple shape, by hand. The dying process is integral for me.
What type of man do you design for? Is there a quintessential By Walid man?
No, just someone who is drawn to the artisan nature of the work and its timelessness. Someone who appreciates the subtle quality to its luxury.