Spotted on global sensation Beyoncé and superstar Priyanka Chopra, the glittering and eye-catching bags by Marzook have become a favourite amongst international celebrities. Founded in 2012 by siblings and creative geniuses Shouq and Fahad Al Marzook, this Kuwaiti brand has quickly become a global phenomenon.
Inspired by art and architecture, the brand designs products that cross-function as artistic masterpieces infused with a sense of individuality. Co-founder and Chief Executive Office, Shouq Marzook has been an avid follower of the fashion industry for the past 15 years, although her background lies in engineering and business. In 2012, Shouq along with her brother Fahad rebranded his first brand to represent their sibling bond and labelled it Marzook.
They wanted to create wearable art pieces which paid home to their family name. With Fahad’s creative talent and Shouq’s business instinct the accessory brand became a success after following up on the strategy of artistic luxury items that every woman would desire. We caught up with the sibling duo in a fun interview focused on their journey into fashion, inspiration and design process.
What is the story behind Marzook?
“Our journey into designing and styling was initially driven by passion. Our maiden collection was even accidental, starting with designing for family and a close circle of friends. We intend to push boundaries, to challenge fashion norms, and to create what we believe is the expression of individuality,” say the siblings.
“We are inspired by fashion from around the world to record styles, shapes, and colours – and translate that in our designs. While studying in the US we had more confidence to explore and experiment with fashion, something that has led to our distinct style today.”
“Our mother’s love of fashion was the starting point for us. She always encouraged us to be different and not to follow trends, but to have fun with it and not take it too seriously. Once we moved back to Kuwait we found that our style was not accepted and was looked upon as ‘loud’ and ‘extraordinary’. It wasn’t until a little later that people realised that our aesthetic was forward-looking and they started to appreciate our sense of adventure.”
Describe the brand aesthetic in three words.
“That’s a tough one, but I would say: opulent, playful, and daring.”
How has heritage and cultural influences impacted Marzook’s design philosophy?
“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, got 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 circle plays a significant role in your logo as well as designs. What’s your relationship with the shape?
“The first bag we designed was shaped like a circular orb. The bag was a representation of the circular Pearl that was extremely popular in the ’70s, inspired by our grandfather’s history.”
“The Crystal Orb is the bag that put Marzook on the fashion map. The first A-list celebrity to carry it was Amal Clooney, followed by Lupita Nyongo who carried the circular bag and it was all over the news. Today this minaudière is one of our best sellers and continues to be sold out in top retailers around the world.”
What was the inspiration behind the pill bag?
Shouq: “Fahad’s role as a creative director is to set the direction of design for the brand. He is the one that designs our collections. He loves to push boundaries and has a vision for creating beautiful pieces each season.”
Fahad: “In the pill bag’s design, I saw a light fixture that caught my eye and I couldn’t stop thinking about the shape. I dreamt about it as a bag and from there the shape was made. It’s such a unique shape that we have had immense success with.”
Can you tell us about your design process?
Shouq: “Usually Fahad’s inspirations come whenever he is on a plane and has these ideas that he runs by me. We usually discuss the shape and how it would be carried, the size, who would carry it and only start a sample when we are both in love with it.”
“The fan shape is our latest new bestseller and it is a piece that attracts all different ages and style aesthetics. The classic woman and the fashion savvy Marzook woman will want to carry it on a night out.”
What are some of your favourite pieces from the Marzook bag collection?
Shouq: “My favourite is the feathered pill bag. It’s so elegant and chic! It will make any outfit stand out just by carrying it.”
Fahad: “Our crystal orb and crystal fan bags are unique. I love the way they turned out after production. Actually I’m biassed–I can’t choose a favourite as I love them all!”
What can we expect to see from Marzook in 2023?
“2023 is already starting out with a bang! Beyoncé carried one of our clutches to the opening of the new Atlantis Hotel. We have new shapes and textures. The fan bag is a must-have for us this season!”
How do you feel about launching in India with AiSPi?
“AiSPi is a contemporary hub for design and is essential for the region. We are very excited about our partnership with AiSPi and have loved seeing our clients post on social media their outfits paired with the pills and orbs.”