In conversation with: Fameed Khalique

From lavish semi-precious stones to subtle applique leather, the Fameed Khalique showroom is a treasure trove of decorative materials

When did you first start collecting materials and why? When I first started the business in 2008, I actually thought I was only going to sell leather, having come from a background of leather interiors. The company evolved quickly, and on my travels to different trade shows I kept finding products and materials that I loved, before I knew it I had 10 collections. The business progressed naturally from that point, each time I found things I liked from my travels over the years, I added them to the Fameed Khalique collection.

How many samples are in your collection now? We have thousands of samples across 11 categories (to date!) ranging from decorative surfaces to leathers and fabrics, glass and flooring – and many many, we have more than 30 collections in total. It has been said that our showroom has the largest selection of surface materials under one roof anywhere in the world!

This delicate floral panel is in leather

Can you describe what an interior designer can expect to find in your showroom? My belief is that we exist to inspire designers to show them what’s possible, so when you come to our showroom you’ll find an extraordinary collection of so many different types of materials. At Fameed Khalique we work on all kinds of projects from cruise ships to super yachts to hotels to offices. Interior designers come to us to be inspired, our job is to show them what can be achieved for their client, the sky really is the limit, and I enjoy pushing boundaries.

Where do you source your samples and are you always on the lookout for new ideas? I’ve spent years gathering the intel and contacts at the best workshops for each material speciality across the world – we source our materials from the very best of those workshops. For example, when looking for hand embroidery, I would always go to India as no where creates embroidery quite like India.

Nowadays we create a lot of our own materials, so I don’t need to be out sourcing all the time. I try to travel as often as I can visiting workshops and seeking our new suppliers as it’s important the studio remains current. When I first started, I was constantly on the lookout for materials which I could use/represent but as time passed and we grew more confident in the design industry, our role as a supplier evolved, today the studio focuses much more on creating brand new finishes. As most of our work is driven by the end client, the interior designer will come to us with a brief, and it’s by trying to meet that brief that we usually end up developing something new that then becomes part of our in-house collection as a result.

Fameed, the master of materials

What sorts of projects are your materials used in? We work across a huge spectrum of industries, including hotels, restaurants, private jets, superyachts, private homes, and retail and office spaces.

We are adept at knowing which materials are better suited to the residential, yacht and aerospace sectors and we are also able to create more robust, hard wearing materials that are better suited to our commercial projects, those on large cruise ships for example and hospitality spaces.

A delicate image of a crane hand embroidered on velvet

Are you also able to source specific materials on request or do you offer a bespoke service? Absolutely, we can do both, depending on the client requirements. A lot of what we do is about creating brand new, never seen before samples for clients that will wow them, and be unique for their project. Almost everything we do is bespoke, because each project is so different. The bespoke offering extends through to hospitality projects where the need is to create cost-effective solutions for everything from fabrics through to specialist finishes.

What is your favourite possession? Two things spring to mind when answering this question. As a lover of fashion, I have some wonderful suits from the 80s and 90s that I bought and have kept in storage that are still fantastic, they’re from a time when quality in fashion was superior to the quality it is now. And home, I have a long counter that is full of photographs of friends and family and I treasure it dearly!

(Image at the top shows Broderick, wood veneer wallcovering)

If you enjoyed my interview with Fameed Khalique, you might also enjoy master upholsterer Aiveen Daly

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