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Born in Australia, Reema Elassaad spent the best part of her adult life traveling the world, exploring and learning about the process of fine art sculpture, and jewellery. Making Brixton her stomping ground, she immersed herself in London’s music and art scenes, finding inspiration in the city’s ability to combine heritage with street culture.
Years later, Reema found herself in a studio in Qingdao, scheming her next move to shake up the status quo. No world felt further away from the skyscrapers of China than the mosques of Turkey, so she followed her instinct, and headed to Istanbul.
Here she envisioned her namesake line, Elassaad. Drawn into the famous Grand Bazaar of the city, Reema cut through the souvenirs and food stands, to seek out the men and women jewellery artisans. Combing the influences of Ancient Byzantine and Roman crafts, traditional Turkish jewellery come cast in gold with jewels and other decorative elements, it was, however, the handcrafted nature, the imperfect, unfinished approach of the jewellery that inspired Reema the most.
In between visits to her maker partners in the Bazaar, Reema spent time exploring the many small, ancient churches scattered throughout the city and found herself inspired by the religious and sometimes occult iconography in each sacred space.
Elassaad speaks directly to these influences, presenting a collection that is rugged and imperfect, expressed in the form of pure, poured brass and enamel. Never tied down to one place, Reema continues to expand her creative horizons, constantly folding in her influences and experiences into her process and thinking, always pushing the status quo.