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On Our Radar: Shouq and Fahad Marzook, The Duo Behind Marzook

Meet the duo behind Marzook, a brand that creates statement accessories that are anything but minimalistic. By Arushi Sakhuja

Marzook, the brainchild of Kuwaiti siblings Fahad and Shouq Al-Marzook, is anything but minimalist.

Interestingly, the duo's first collection was a mere accident as they started designing for their family and close friends. Spotted on global sensations like Beyoncé and Priyanka Chopra, the glittering and eye-catching bags by Marzook have become a favourite amongst international celebrities. Founded in 2012, ten years later, this Kuwaiti brand has quickly become a global phenomenon and is currently best known for its iconic Crystal Pill Bag. Marzook marries Art Deco influences with contemporary direction to create accessories that are not merely handbags but objets d’art.

Shouq Marzook, Co-founder and CEO, has been following the fashion industry for 15 years. In 2012, she and her brother Fahad rebranded their first brand as Marzook. With Fahad's creativity and Shouq's business sense, they aimed to create wearable art pieces that paid homage to their family name. They succeeded by offering artistic luxury items that every woman would desire.

Raised between Europe, the United States, and Kuwait, the designers draw inspiration from their multicultural upbringing, incorporating exotic leather and skins, metals, and resins into their designs.

Their styles are heavily influenced by Western cultures and the duo's mother’s love of fashion encourages Fahad and Shouq to be different, not to follow trends, and to stand out from the crowd. The brand can be described in three words opulent, playful, and daring.

Contrary to the world's current inclination towards less is more, the accessories brand celebrates richness in excess, kitschy designs and the ideology of more is more. Marzook follows the ethos of non-instinctive thinking, pushes creative boundaries and draws on the principles of surrealism.

However, no success comes without struggles. The siblings stumbled upon some hardships to carve their niche in society. Once they moved back to Kuwait, their style was not immediately accepted and was often looked upon as loud and extraordinary. But today, people appreciate out-of-the-box designs, where each design is individually unique and draws inspiration from art, architecture, and nature.

Known for their circular bag designs, the duo says that the significance of the circle is it is a profound, transcendent symbol. "It is said to represent the cycle of life, completion, inclusion, eternity, and the universe. The intertwined double circles (or the letters O) found in the way we have designed the Marzook logo express our interlocking creative relationship. We are dependent on each other's design decisions and we rely on one another for support. Introducing distortions in design by breaking norms; and not being a systematic arrangement. We follow an ethos of non-instinctive thinking and the principles of surrealism, without any control by reason and irrational juxtaposition. We defined our own distinct vision of blending Art Deco and innovative designs to create an unforgettable glamour."

Marzook's exquisite line of accessories consists of precious metals, plexiglas resins, and Swarovski encrusted spherical shapes and styles. The designs draw inspiration from a rich mix of Eastern and Western cultures and the collection is a reverence to modern-day objet d'art. We caught up with the sibling duo to focus on what makes them the design identity they are today.

Tell us about some of your best sellers overseas and what is the collection that we can see in India?

Over the years we have seen success with our Orb adorned in different materials and colors. With that success, we created another best seller the Pill Bag. Its one-of-a-kind shape created an appeal with our clients. Recently we launched the fan bag “abanico” inspired by the Spanish hand fan to cater to a wider demographic. This shape is for every woman. Its elegant design and lightweight and it is exactly what any woman wants to pair with her outfit.

Today we have a selection of these best sellers adorned with crystals and feathers to compliment the local style. We are in love with the modern sari designs, and we’re inspired to see the canvas through which it explores where India is at in terms of local and international fashion trends. We feel Marzook’s minauderies are an impeccable modern addition to the sari for weddings and dinners.

A favourite of many celebrities across the world, what is your design ethos?

The brand’s ethos follows a design of non-instinctive thinking with the intention of pushing boundaries. MARZOOK, the brand, is about permanence, the idea of buying something that could be passed down from mother to daughter creating pieces that will be around for a long time. We managed to turn a small brother/sister business into an international brand that sells to over 40 platforms around the world. Today the brand is recognized for its unique aesthetic, daring collaborations, and dynamic events.

Where do you draw your inspiration from while creating unique bags?

Our heritage is very important to both of us. It drives our passion for design and creating beautiful art pieces inspired by our culture and our roots. Our father was born and raised in India, up until he was nine years old, our grandfather a Pearl merchant from Kuwait would sail for months on end to India to trade pearls and dates with gold. He met our grandmother and were soon married and had our father. Our South Asian/Middle Eastern heritage allows us to explore and create eclectic designs that appeal to our region. The first bag we designed, the circular orb was inspired by the circular Pearl that was extremely popular in the 70s. Inspired by our grandfather’s history.

Why did you decide to foray into India and what do you see the future potential of the brand as in the new market?

India was always on our radar, we have a deep connection to the region and we were waiting for the right time for it to happen. The local fashion market is dynamic with a rich history that would draw in any creative brand. We would love to do a special collaboration for the Marzook client, we have already started implementing designs specifically for the region.

Marzook is well known for its unconventional handbag shapes, what made you decide to collaborate with Aispi for your presence in India?

Aispi has been very supportive of our brand in the region. Aispi is the perfect pair for Marzook in terms of demographics and aesthetics. We have a great relationship with our customers and are building their trust with our unique handbag designs.

About Marzook

Marzook is a luxury handbag and fashion brand, whose products are sold in prestigious stores across six continents, including Harvey Nichols, Saks Fifth Avenue, and Robinsons. Celebrities like Priyanka Chopra, Amal Clooney, Janet Jackson, and Beyonce have been spotted wearing Marzook designs. The brand sold 6,000 units in 2022, resulting in an 11.5% increase in revenue. Marzook bags range in price from $650 to $3,800.


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