Upon first meeting Azamit, one may believe to be in the presence of a princess from a faraway land or in the company of Nefertiti[[more]], celebrated Egyptian queen whose elegance and beauty is still dreamt about today, nearly thousands of years later.
Although she enjoys modelling, it is her career as a stylist that has been her principal occupation for the past 15 years. She explains, “I was born in Eritrea, but I grew up in Ethiopia. I was not fulfilled artistically because the socialist system considers art a luxury, and relevant information was very limited. For me, fashion was the most accessible; after all, we saw it around us in our everyday lives. In Montreal, I studied at LaSalle College. I then received a scholarship to study at the Duperré School of Applied Arts. I also did internships, including one at Nina Ricci in Paris. It was only after having tested out being a model that I discovered the possibility of a career as a stylist—this became my true passion.”
Azamit’s modelling career will always be a parallel adventure for her—one that includes changing to suit specific projects, meetings, and photographers. “For a long time I refused to be a model because I had a very negative idea of the field. I would say, ‘I refuse to sell my body.’ I later realized that models still have control over their image and their bodies. It’s a team effort, too! I always respected this part of my life, but I would never travel or get caught up in my modelling career in a way that would overshadow my career as a stylist.”
Azamit’s love for discovery and meeting new people has resulted in the creation of a fantastic project. Souk@sat is an annual event that is a must for lovers of design. The project was established in 2003 with Bruno Ricciardi-Rigault. Azamit elaborates, “I love rummaging through things; I love observing; I love doing research. Everything inspires me. Whether it be food, lifestyle, a person, an emotion, a smell—I think that it is ultimately a combination of all these things that can make me fall in love. Beautiful things fascinate me. For example, a piece of jewellery can compliment an outfit, but it can itself be a decor piece. Jewellery can illuminate a person. For me, it’s love at first sight when it comes to jewellery. I don’t have a particular style. I love timeless pieces, and I love contradictions—whether they be in the materials used or in the style of the piece. I love mixing feminine and masculine elements, or antique and modern ones, especially when the result is absolute harmony.”
This celebration of Gloria Bass’ work is surely just the beginning of collaboration between the stylist and the jeweller. After all, Bass’ designs, which fuse contrasting materials and eras, perfectly encapsulate the very contradictions that Azamit admires. Her creations are strangers to time—much like Azamit’s beauty.