In January, Design Insider launched our UK MADE Campaign. Since then, we have shared an array of articles all about manufacturing, supply chain, export, brand and much more. We are delighted to share another Q&A with Fameed Khalique, an internationally renowned company specialising in surface materials for the global interior design industry.
Please can you introduce our readers to yourself and your brand?
I launched Fameed Khalique in 2008 after a number of years working in different spheres, from PR and marketing to publishing and logistics, I always felt that I was searching for creative satisfaction and a yearning to broaden my skill set. I eventually found myself working in the world of luxury leathers, where my passion for interiors was ignited. I was able to see first-hand how interior designers and architects work and think. I have designed the business around providing solutions for the interior design industry, be that creating the ultimate bespoke finish, no one thought was possible, or creating a product that meets or exceeds budget or time constraints. My showroom on London’s King’s Road now houses what is probably the world’s largest collection of surface materials under one roof, all curated to provide solutions for interiors across commercial, residential, hospitality, aviation and marine sectors. Our aim is to identify and create surfaces and techniques I know interior designers will love and I pride myself on being able to consistently surprise and delight.
What products do you design and manufacture in the UK?
We believe in working with the best makers and artisans, and work with craftspeople from all around the globe, sourcing and often developing new techniques and innovative finishes. a number of our collections are actually made right here in the UK. Some of our eglomise glass, painted gesso and liquid metal collections are made in the South East. We love being able to build relationships with local artisans here in the UK, supporting the UK design industry and economy, whilst showcasing the incredible craftsmanship the UK has to offer.
Please can you tell us about them?
Eglomise glass is made using a very traditional technique from the 18th century that continues to be utilised today, it’s a technique that can feel traditional and classic in aesthetic, but can also be used to create incredible contemporary panels, that showcase the craft of the maker in a whole new light. The process consists of a design being hand painted to the back of the glass, which is then hand-gilded to produce a reflective surface. Painted gesso which was once used for decorating small surfaces, picture frames and sculptures is another traditional surface that has been modified for use on large areas and can now be seen adorning the walls, cabinetry and even headboards in both residential and commercial interiors. Behind this extraordinary surface is a lot of complex work; depending on the design, sometimes up to 30 hours of work can be needed to create just one square metre of this marvel. Our liquid metal finishes collection which is also made in the UK offers a unique array of surface finishes. From deceptive designs emulating metal finishes such as brass or bronze but retaining their lightness, the design possibilities are endless, allowing you to customise your finishes for vertical surfaces, panelling, as well as furniture. The process starts with the Master Carver creating stunning panels in wood (usually based on organic, natural forms and textures), followed by the base panels being cast to create the mould, which can then be filled with anything the client wants, from resin to pigments and metallic powders, so the result can be truly bespoke, allowing for unique colours and shades and limitless applications.
Where is the main place you export to?
We specialise in surface materials for the global interior design industry and therefore work with designers from all around the world. Many of the larger projects that we frequently supply to are in Europe, USA and the Middle East, but we are seeing that people all over the world are investing more in innovative design and craftsmanship in commercial, as well as residential interiors.
What do you like about supplying to the UK Market?
On a practical level, it’s easier and slightly quicker because there is less red tape with paperwork, licensing and translation, but on a personal level I like to be closer to the client so it’s easier to understand and communicate their vision. I am able to meet and build long-lasting relationships with an incredible array of British designers, working on both commercial and residential projects. I like being able to see clients face to face in our showroom to discuss their project and present our collection of surface materials and see their eyes light up at the choice of design possibilities. Often a designer will come to us with a brief, not knowing exactly which material will be suitable, I enjoy the process of working together to discover the solution. It’s also rewarding being able to see the end project in situ, which is usually not possible with international projects.
What has been your favourite UK project?
Most recently, the Baccarat Bar in Harrods, designed by Fabled Studio, which has been fantastic to work on and a real pleasure to be a part of. The end result is a very glamorous and elegant interior, a style that’s synonymous with Baccarat Bars and the Harrods brand. I’m really looking forward to escaping there for an evening cocktail with friends once the hospitality sector reopens. Another favourite is the upcoming Peninsula hotel in Belgravia, which we have been working on over the last couple of years. This is a project with a very grandiose vision, reflecting the heart of Belgravia, and it has been a personal challenge to get the design of the materials just right and to ensure they meet the design standards of both the HongKong and Shanghai Hotels Group, as well as the designer Peter Marino. We pride ourselves on being able to rise to challenges and help designers deliver something truly extraordinary.
What impact has Brexit had on the supply chain to the rest of the world?
Because we’re used to working with artisans and suppliers, as well as interior designers from all around the world, Brexit hasn’t changed anything or presented any issues to us. We’re used to shipping products internationally, so in that way we are prepared and can continue to work as normal, supporting artisans in both the UK as well as around the globe. We have always strived to have international appeal, so we feel lucky to be able to continue creating and providing solutions for projects all over the world.
Are any of your designs inspired by anything or anyone in Britain?
For me, inspiration can really come from anywhere and everywhere. The British design scene is recognised globally for being at the forefront of innovation and I find that just being present in the UK spurs us on to be creative and innovative in our design solutions. My mind is always in a creative mode anywhere I go, I’m always looking around and noticing different design details and finishes, trying to figure out how I can incorporate them into our work. The process of working with different craftspeople will often be a big source of inspiration as we try and elevate their work to new levels, be it through new, unique material, technique or different design details.
Contact Fameed Khalique through the BCFA Product Finder.
The BCFA Product Finder is a unique search engine created especially for interior designers to source contract furnishing companies. Utilising this platform will support your findings for upcoming projects, with over 200 members profiles showcasing the latest product launches, new materials available, industry news and design trends.