Handbag styles have, since their inception, been fluid and ever evolving, becoming more fashion statement and attention stopping status symbol than merely a means of carrying essentials and, nobody is more aware of this than Fursan Designer, Ibrahim Al-Haidos.
Founder and Designer of Fursan’s innovative and ever-stylish range of handbags, Ibrahim Al-Haidos specializes in creating elegant and stylish bags for busy women who value beauty alongside practicality. We caught up with Ibrahim recently when he shared his thoughts with us on the ever-changing world of fashion.
How does your education in engineering and business administration impact your fashion business sense?
Well, a handbag is a work of engineering in itself – today’s busy woman with great style needs to carry all of her essentials to maintain her look and also to function throughout the day. My bags are designed to not only look fabulous but also to be sturdy enough to withstand proper daily use. With respect to business sense, my education in business administration has been invaluable as, once the fun part of designing is done, there is a huge amount of “real work” to be done to ensure that the business runs smoothly and the brand in managed properly and as per the drawn strategy
You were recently featured on Citizen K, how was that experience?
This was a fantastic experience for me as I believe that Citizen K caters to my audience base who are very much consumers of fashion and lifestyle magazines as fashion tends to be an integral part of their daily lives. It was a great way and vehicle to highlight my talents and skills. Also, it was very nice to be referred to as a “New man on the block!” The magazine is the ultimate guide to haute couture in the GCC so it was incredible to be acknowledged and celebrated by such a prestigious publication.
As a male designer of handbags created for women, how does your own taste influence your designs?
I don’t think it is possible to be a designer without infusing your creations with your own tastes – certainly, the material I choose is the most precious skin from well-known tanneries who only produce for high-end and luxurious brands. The colours used for Fursan handbags are chosen with the season in mind but, I like to think that a little of my own personality and the brand identity are also injected into each piece.
Pharrell Williams was recently the first male to model a Chanel bag, would you ever consider creating luxury bags for men?
It’s not impossible – I was very “happy” to see PharrelI doing that as, I think in recent years, people have moved on from the taboo of the “man bag” and more men now see a bag as a stylish accessory as well as a practicality so, never say never! At the moment, I have my hands full with my current projects but I think this would be a really interesting addition to my range sometime in the future.
As a designer, how does social media give you the global reach that you need to put Qatar on the fashion map?
I’m not sure that it’s possible to run a business these days without social media and I do find it invaluable in my business. Social media have brought the world closer. It has even become the “new search engine” and “Newsroom” when it comes to fashion and personalities. Women in Qatar are naturally elegant and stylish and have the instinct to be unique and to be “The one & Only” … I guess everybody would love to be called that, given the chance. Social media is a great way – particularly Instagram – in communicating this to the wider world.
Your bags are carefully crafted and constructed, can you tell me, in short, the process for finding unique leather goods and what other materials are used?
I’ve been using the same leather supplier for some time as I’m extremely fussy when it comes to the quality of leather used for Fursan handbags. Currently, all leather and exotic skins are handpicked by myself. There are a number of other materials involved in the crafting of a bag including metals for details such as clasps and embellishments and thread for stitching, as well as softer materials for lining and materials for the structure of the bags.
Right now, the flagship store in Qatar seems to be the only place someone can purchase a Fursan bag, will there be an online store coming soon?
Yes, this is in the pipeline at the moment – creating an online store has been a priority for me as I am hoping to bring Fursan bags to women around the world – why should the ladies of Qatar have all the fun! Yet, the flagship store will be an exclusive source for some collections and some types of exotic skins. If you could choose any city in the United States to carry your Fursan bag, which city would that be and, why? I would love my bags to be available in New York and Chicago as I feel that these are two of the most fashionable cities in the world which is reflected in hugely popular TV programmes and films such as Sex And The City and Mean Girls. New York, in particular, is such a vibrant and buzzing city that I feel that it would make an ideal home for a Fursan store and, I do look forward to taking a bite of that particular apple in the future.
How important is it for you to influence the fashion world with your culture and, can you explain the tradition of Dazzah?
As a designer, being influential is always of paramount importance – you need to be a fashion leader rather than a fashion follower and it is equally important to me to infuse my fashions with my culture which holds an extremely important place in my heart. In my culture, when a man marries, he brings gifts to the bride as a symbol of prosperity and, these gifts are presented in an “embayyat” which is a kind of wooden trunk embellished with precious metals. I wanted to use the idea of the embayyat as a template for creating the distinctive and stunning Dazzah range of handbags.
What can we look forward to from Ibrahim Al-Haidos?
I don’t want to say too much at this point but, I do have some really exciting projects in the pipeline for the near future, as well as some longer term goals. As a designer, you’re always looking toward the next season – and the one after that and so, there are always plans being made; some of which make their way into my flagship store and, some which never get past the drawing board.- You can, of course, follow me on social media to keep updated on all of these exciting new projects!
For more information on the Dazzah and other ranges, visit: www.fursan.qa