The designer talks success, womanhood and empowerment.
Much like her creations, Anissa Kermiche is truly one of a kind. Engineer turned fine jeweler turned homeware designer, Kermiche’s approach to beauty is a much needed breath of fresh air. Her eponymous label launched in 2016 with a line of wearable art embodying it’s maker; witty, beautiful, feminine and unique. Quickly amassing a cult following, Kermiche introduced a range of sculptural ceramic vases of bums and boobs with tongue-in-cheek names like Breast Friend and Love Handles to celebrate womanhood and empowerment. In a time where the pressure to be perfect can often become all-consuming, Kermiche wants her creations to remind us to celebrate individuality, embrace our imperfections and be real. Scroll through our editorial to check out our conversation with the designer and shop the pieces below.
We know you started your journey in the creative space as a jewelry designer in 2016. What inspired you to do it? Can you tell us more about your design process?
I actually studied engineering and worked in a big consulting firm for a few years. I really enjoyed it at first but it quickly became clear to me that this wasn’t the right path for me. So I decided to go to London for the summer and try my luck at jewelry design classes at Central Saint Martins. I immediately knew I had found my true calling and I never looked back.
I always draw design sketches on paper first and am constantly inspired by random shapes of life. I would see a cool Cubist painting and turn it into an angular piece of jewelry. I’ve also created a choker based off of a picket fence. I love creating beautiful things out of ordinary, everyday objects.
Your label has gained momentum quickly and has amassed a cult following. To what do you attribute its success?
My designs are playful and very visual and I don’t take myself too seriously. I think the world of design and jewelry is often way too serious, so I really wanted to have fun with everything I do. Why not wear a pair of boobs around your neck?
I’m also super grateful for my team who have been with me from the very beginning. I think our philosophy of never dwelling on successful designs and always looking ahead has really contributed to our success.
Both your jewelry and ceramic vases celebrate womanhood, and we can see that body positivity and empowerment are key elements in all your creations. Tell us more about your interest in the feminine figure and how your designs challenge the ways in which society views the physical body.
Being raised by a single mother and growing up surrounded by a group of strong, independent women really shaped who I am today. The women in my life have never let me down and I admire how they’re able to take on so many roles, balancing the complexities of family and career. It is my duty to celebrate them.
I also feel my early school years have greatly influenced my designs. When I was younger, I attended a Catholic school in France and I looked so different from everyone else. I remember how I struggled with fitting in and that’s why I want my designs to be as inclusive as possible. It’s important to embrace our differences and celebrate variations in the female form. I knew from the beginning that I wanted to make my brand as loud and daring and feminine as possible. I wanted it to represent “real” women and the imperfections of beauty, not an unrealistic, photoshopped standard the media has created.
It’s positive to see that the way society views the female figure has evolved over time and we’re starting to embrace bodies of different colors and shapes, but there’s still a long way to go.
What does interior design mean to you? What would be your one piece of advice when it comes to investing in homeware?
Interior design means writing your story. Every piece takes me back down memory lane and encourages self-reflection. My advice would be to take your time and only purchase pieces you truly fall in love with. Be patient and don’t rush.
We know you’re the ultimate creative spirit and have such a distinct point of view. What’s next? What can we expect? If you could collaborate with any designer / artist in the world who would you choose and what would you like to create?
I’m very spontaneous so I don’t like to plan too far ahead, but I’m currently working on tableware and prints and would also love to explore glassware. I’m also in discussions with a lingerie brand I adore for a potential partnership. My ultimate dream, however, is to create a lamp. I would love to partner with a sculptor or furniture designer to do this so please get in touch if you’re reading this!