THE PLAYER. Mariam and Dania Al Sawedeg

DSC_2438

Hailing from Libya by way of Zurich and then London and Dubai, jewellery designer sisters Mariam (29)and Dania Al Sawedeg’s (24) unique upbringing has not only influenced their brand Kamushki but also their unique sense of style – think London cool teamed with a little Middle Eastern polish. Whether it’s nineties grunge or high octane glamour, these girls can make even the trickiest of trends look like child’s play and layering their jewellery look like an art form. They can also thank their workout regimes for helping them look and feel their best… not to mention even inspiring their latest fitness themed collection which features dumbells and whistles.


TOPS, Mariam & Dania’s own. JEWELLERY, Kamushki.


THE BUSINESS.

Kamushki is a jewellery brand inspired by culture from our travels around the world. We wanted to have our memories in our jewellery and share it with the world. We both developed a love of jewellery at an early age from our mother who has always collected unique and antique pieces of jewellery from her travels…. Mariam Al Sawedeg

DANIA: I’ve always wanted to do something with Mariam and we felt having a jewellery line run by us would be the most precious thing. We both get involved in the creative process and have a business brain, but Mariam is more in charge of managing design and production whereas I oversee brand marketing. We wanted to create a brand which has a meaning behind it so we incorporated our culture and fashion into it. The reaction locally has been wonderful, people in this region are very supportive of upcoming designers. Globally it’s also been great especially in Europe. Currently we are selling at Browns London and Super Milano, a boutique in Milan. We are also targeting other places in the world such as New York, LA and Asia.


Leggings and tops, Mariam & Dania’s own. Trainer’s, Isabel Marant.


THE GAME.

After graduating when I started to work with Mariam, we sort of of made an oath to ourselves to wake up early, set a place, and get shit done so that’s when we joined our gym in Zurich… Dania Al Sawedeg

DANIA: To be honest fitness was not really part of my life unless I was dragged to the gym or to go for a jog by the lake by friends. I was very skinny during my college days and sometimes it looked unhealthy. There were days where I’d go by with just one meal and forget about the rest. Since then, I tried all sorts of exercise and after of couple of months pushing ourselves to the gym, Mariam and I came across Lagree Pilates studio – it’s an advanced form of reformer Pilates called Mega Former – which everyone on this planet needs to try.  Signing up to Lagree became my Holy grail and that is when I finally realised that fitness is and will always be part of my lifestyle.

My exercise regime is cardio and the Lagree fitness method- I am not satisfied with a workout unless I am sore the next day and this helped me a lot in shaping my body and making me feel so fit. I like to balance my workouts, one day it’s cardio, one day it’s weights and I work out around four or five times a week. You have to find workout that works with your body and set your goals on what you want to look like six months from now..

MARIAM: I’ve always tried to stay active, but I was never consistent in the past, I would always try different classes but never found the one that would keep me motivated to do more. When I hit 27 I wanted fitness to be a big part of my life, I signed myself up to a gym and started working out religiously, I wanted fitness to be part of my daily routine, I wanted to change my life as I was unhappy with myself and that’s where my motivation came from.

I believe that motivation and willpower combined is what will drive you to a healthy living, change has to come from within in order to be consistent, and also I found what I love to do and that has kept me going. I used to be skinny and unhealthy and didn’t have any energy so I was always feeling tired and drained. When I started working out and seeing the results that was one of the keys that made me want to do more. My exercise routine includes Pilates, strength training and cardio and I’m also addicted to the Lagree fitness. I also love stretching classes and I found the yoga class for me which is antigravity yoga. Like Dania I work out four or five times a week, sometimes everyday depending on my schedule.


TOPs, Mariam & Dania’s own. JEWELLERY, Kamushki Jewellery.


THE FUEL.

My food philosophy is eat healthy and balanced. Food should be enjoyed so don’t be mean to yourself and listen to what your body wants… Dania Al Sawedeg

DANIA: I believe in the saying you are what you eat. Eating healthily but in moderation. If you think you ate too much today eat less tomorrow but in a healthy way and don’t forget to hit the gym because you really need to move your body in order to eat the things you love.

I love eating vegetables whether its home made vegetable soup or a salad. I try to avoid bread but I do have my weak moments and lets not talk about my crazy cheat days. A typical day for me would be breakfast consisting of two boiled eggs and half an avocado. Lunch is normally a salad without too much dressing on it because that ruins everything and dinner would be either fish or chicken.

MARIAM: Healthy eating to me has always always been enjoying everything in a balanced way, I never deprive myself and I eat whatever I crave in moderation. Twice a week I cut out sugar and carbs from my diet and just stick to protein , this helps me cleanse my body, and it helps me discipline myself. I believe that what you eat defines you. Breakfast is the most important meal of my day and if I leave the house without having something to eat, my day would end in a whole day of binge eating.

I have an insane sweet tooth so I normally wake up craving something sweet, so I have oatmeal with almond or coconut milk with any type of fruit I crave. Lunch is usually be a big salad with all the greens that I love and with a bit of protein, I usually eat an hour after working out. Dinner is different everyday, I cook a lot so it depends on my mood. I’m not a red meat person, so I usually eat fish or chicken with either vegetables or pasta on the side. Drinking lots and lots of water is another important part of my diet.


From left: Mariam wears top by Alexander Wang at Symphony Boutique. Jeans, Mariam’s own. Dania’s wears Swimsuit by Lisa Marie Fernandez at Symphony Boutique. Jeans, Dania’s own. Jewellery, Kamushki Jewellery


THE UNIFORM.

Be comfortable in your own skin, and in what you wear, don’t force fashion on yourself let your personality speak in everything you do. You basically reflect what the world reflects to you… Mariam Al Sawedeg.

MARIAM: I don’t have a certain style that I stick to, it depends on my mood and where I am, I could be in my fitness clothes all day one day, and it’s heels another day. I have a very colorful personality, so I really see myself as a Versace and Dolce & Gabbana person. I love Adidas for comfort and Lululemon too as it compliments my body and I feel very comfortable in their clothes

DANIA: My fashion philosophy is to always look elegant yet effortless and never be afraid to add some crazy heels to your look.
My personal style is classy, effortless with a hint of edge. I love dark colors or nude but am not afraid to wear bright things during the summer. You can say am a mix of Mary-Kate and Kate Moss. I love brands like Fausto Puglisi, Balenciaga, Saint Laurent, Gucci and Celine as well as H&M. When it comes go working it our I go to Adidas and Nike and sometimes find great things in Forever 21 as well.


TOP, Mariam & Dania’s own, Jewellery, Kamushki Jewellery.


THE BEAUTY.

Sleep is so important to me, I have to get at least eight hours of sleep a day and drinking lots of water to get rid of all the toxins in my body…. Mariam Al Sawedeg

MARIAM: First thing I do when I was up is take my vitamins. I cannot live without vitamin C, it did wonders to my skin. Moisturizing is probably the most important part of my beauty regime, I put a heavy rejuvenating cream before I go to bed and use Laura Mercier creams which includes vitamin E.

DANIA: I was sitting in a cafe once and I saw this woman with the most fair and flawless skin so asked her what her secret was and she told me she has not used make up for seven years now and she was actually a dermatologist in Zurich. So I try to avoid make up on certain days and think do I really need it? I personally love makeup but I have certain days where I feel my skin needs a break to breathe.

I travel a lot and that tends to make your skin dehydrated and tired so I always try to keep my face hydrated and I love using natural Argan oil and I always put on eye cream, my favourite is Avocado Eye Cream from Kiehl’s.


Leggings and tops, Mariam & Dania’s own. Trainer’s, Isabel Marant.


THE TIMEOUT.

I love the Moroccan spa at the Royal Mirage I go there to get a Moroccan bath which is exactly what I need to relax and help my body detox…. Mariam Al Sawedeg

MARIAM: For acupuncture and other related health issues I go to Dubai Herbal and Treatment Center in Zaabeel

DANIA: The XVA hotel is great get away from the city life and I love the Candle wax massage as the SensAsia spa on the Palm


Mariam wears: TOP by Opening Ceremony at Symphony Boutique. Dania wears top by Alexander Wang at Symphony boutique, leggings, Mariam & Dania’s own. JEWELLERY, kamushki jewellery.


THE TIPS.

Dania and Mariam’s top tips.

Invest in your body, it is where you live.
Take lots vitamins
Drink lots of water
Have the perfect gym outfits so you feel good about yourself.
Always have a statement piece of sunglasses and big chunky earrings or hoops or a head band worn with a high pony tail.

From left: Mariam wears top by Alexander Wang at Symphony Boutique. Jeans, Mariam’s own. Dania’s wears Swimsuit by Lisa Marie Fernandez at Symphony Boutique. Jeans, Dania’s own. Jewellery, Kamushki Jewellery

 

Photography by Juliet Dunne www.retrospect-photography.com

Tags: , , , , , , ,