Zaman celebrates designers this International Women’s Day

To mark International Women’s Day, which is celebrated all around the world today we’ve decided to put together a list of iconic women we admire who’ve made significant contributions to the discipline of design.

Not listed in any particular order, these designers are from various nationality & specialize/(d) in design across various categories – art, fashion, jewellery, interiors, communications & more, whose career stories & remarkable works continue to inspire us.

Charlotte Perriand – was a French architect and designer whose work aimed to create functional living spaces in the belief that better design helps in creating a better society. Along with designing furniture and living spaces, she was also involved with many leftist organizations such as the Association des Écrivains et Artistes Révolutionnaires(AEAR). Read more…

Gabriella Crespi – designer, artist, manufacturer, marketing genius, glamorous socialite & a unique figure in the world of décor, Gabriella Crespi began her career as a designer in the 1950s with her first production of objects, the “Small Lune Collection”, steel moon-shaped sculptures, in which the stylistic influences of time converge and are transformed. The multifunctionality of her furniture, a Crespi trademark, has instigated a renewed interest in her furniture and accessory designs — about 1,500 all told, including lamps, silverware and jewelry, in a huge range of materials, from metal, wood, marble and bamboo to seeds, shells and gemstones. Read more…

Zaha Hadid – Iraqi born London-based architect Zaha Hadid is an Architectural Designer, whose work encompasses all fields of design, ranging from urban scale through to products, interiors and furniture. The first woman to win the Pritzker Architecture Prize in 2004, Hadid’s celebrated works includes the Chanel Mobile Art Pavilion. Read more…

Paola Navone – an interior designer and consultant to furniture and material manufacturers, Paola always tries to combine modern design with traditional handicraft, creating hybrids of design and handicraft, placing greater value on design. As a boundary-crossing designer, her portfolio includes a broad spectrum of products, from china, clothing and beds to fabrics. Read more…

Nada Debs – Lebanese furniture designer renowned for her unique concept of Eastern-inspired designs blending Middle Eastern craftsmanship with Far East minimalist design influences. You can read the earlier post we’d written on Nada Debs here.

Hoda Baroudi – one half of Beirut-based designer duo, Bokja, consisting of Hoda Baroudi and Maria Hibri, two women who over the last ten years have been insatiably collecting ancient textiles from the Levant and from countries along the Silk Road, using them to reupholster furniture with a sort of vibrant and richly textured collage that transforms mass-produced objects into unique works of art. Read more…

Reem Acra – is an internationally acclaimed Lebanese fashion designer whose signature bridal designs & couture gowns have found much favour among global fashionistas, Hollywood’s elite & the well-to-do. She studied in Paris, as well as New York and her designs are sold in famous clothing boutiques such as Saks Fifth Avenue and Neiman Marcus.Read more…

Eileen Gray – This Irish artist was one of the pioneers who created what is now referred to as modern design during the 1920s and 1930s.Her name is pronounced in the same breath as Le Corbusier, Mies van der Rohe and Marcel Breuer. Her tubular steel furniture was revolutionary in its day, and is now accepted as classic. In the second stage of her creative career, Eileen Gray switched to architecture and continued producing masterpieces. She was an artist of epoch-making significance. Her career culminated in 1972 with her appointment by the Royal Society of Art in London, as Royal Designer to Industry. And her legendary Adjustable Table E 1027 has been added to the permanent collection of the Museum of Modern Art, New York, in 1978. Read more…

Gabrielle BonheurCocoChanel – the influential French fashion designer’s, founder of the brand Chanel, modernist thought, practical design, and pursuit of expensive simplicity made her an important and influential figure in 20th-century fashion. Read more…

Azza Fahmy – celebrated Egyptian jewelry designer and entrepreneur at the onset of her career she was the first woman to take an apprenticeship in the bustling, historic souk, Khan El Khalil in Cairo. Ms. Fahmy challenged a male dominated industry to become one of the region’s most prolific and respected designers. Read more…

Paula Scher – born in 1948 in Washington, DC., is an American graphic designer, illustrator, painter and art educator in design, and the first female principal at Pentagram, which she joined in 1991.