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Interview: Walid Damirji of By Walid

Walid DamirjiCall him an elitist, but when it comes to fashion, Iraqi designer and consultant, Walid Damirji, works a niche market to create luxury pieces with the most exceptional vintage and antique textiles and furs. Proving that good style is a matter of taste, Damirji is also part owner of the boutique bakery, Cocomaya, sprouting up all over London. correspondent, Raya Al Khalifa, reports.  

The pieces that you design range from low-key, modern luxury looks to elaborate shawls for the evening. How did you get into the business of vintage remodeling?

I have always loved antiques, textiles, and vintage pieces but I never liked having them just sit in a cupboard. I always wanted to make use of them. I wanted to make them be modern again and used day-to-day.

How do you go about making a particular piece? Do you first imagine what you would like to make?


Or get inspired by the beads and fabrics?

I get inspired by the beading and then that builds. It inspires me and, you know, if I make a piece—I make a story out of it. And, well, one thing leads to another.

By Walid 2

So, you let the design of a certain garment you find dictate what the final outcome will be?

No. It’s also about the texture. I can find delicate lace and back it onto cotton and dye it a totally different color and give it a whole new meaning. But it is the garment’s texture and original design that prevail.

You know, like those jackets you just tried on. Those jackets are all made with 18th and 19th century fabrics: lace and crochets that are just sitting around so I back them on cotton, stitch them up, and dye them.

And somehow add fur.

Some do have fur. Yeah, you are right.

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