Jewelry designer Pegah Ghaemi founded her own online store PRIVATE SUITE out of passion and interest in jewellery. She works and lives with her family in Munich. I spoke with the successful jewelry designer about her inspirations and the fashion city of Munich.
Jewellery designer Pegah on the fashion city of Munich
FIV: Pegah, you are a jewelry designer in Munich, what is the fashion scene like in Munich? What makes Munich a fashion city for you?
Munich is a stylish and exciting city I would even say the most beautiful in Germany with Hamburg. So also their fashion is diverse and colorful.
If you could compare it to an American metropolis, I’d say it has LA flair. I can explain it, too. For example: I’m from Mainz, but even the best dressed people from Mainz still have such a village chic. In Munich you wear chic, sporty (German), cool, or stylish freeky etc. Everything is allowed and most people can do it. Of course, Munich also has a special fashion flair due to all the (fashion magazine) publishers that are based here.
FIV: Is there strong competition in the area? Is there a lot of competition between the designers or do new friendships even develop?
I don’t have any competition with anyone, because I do something completely different than all the other colleagues. We are friends rather than enemies. There is also no reason for a “nasty” competition, as there is a lot of room for everyone on the market.
Nowadays, only the one who has the staying power survives anyway. Unfortunately, the fashion industry has changed a lot. The fairs are getting emptier and emptier and the budget for individuality is getting smaller and smaller. I can explain that too. Look at the stores; it’s high summer, and for 2 months, winter merchandise has already been hanging in the stores. The seasons have shifted, but the chains and big buyers are not reacting. So manufacturers and buyers are both in a difficult situation. If in May there is already 30% sale and we have 12 degrees how should that work. And in summer like now, you are desperately looking for goods. The cellars of the shops are not even 50% empty, the new goods are already coming into the shop.
The Internet also plays a very big role. Today you can order almost everything cheaper and free of shipping online and if necessary also return it free of charge.
Pegah: Her husband has her back
FIV: How do you balance your personal life and designing?
It was really hard at first, but my husband always took me seriously and was one of the few who believed in me! When things got tough, he had my back, although actually HE brings the money home. Actually, I have to say, I have to thank my husband and my mother that I can work so freely.
FIV: When and how did you decide to become a jewelry designer?
It’s a really long story. My husband has had a lot to do in the Philippines 6 years ago and I have always flown with. At that time I had bought the goods of the Sarayo out of the insolvency mass and a small cute shop in Gabelsberger Street. I was always there at these great markets and at some point I bought a really great hoop for my stepdaughter, who was 13 at the time, but it was decorated with plastic stones. I thought it was so great that I asked the lady if she might make me a pair for my shop, but with semi-precious stones. Those were the first hoops, but they have totally changed over the years.
When I got pregnant I had to give up my shop and after the 2nd daughter I thought I’d make an online shop so that at Christmas I wouldn’t have to hear from my husband, with a cheeky smile, “Well the Christmas present, I bought myself…”, because of course it was from my saved household money. At that time I sold maybe 20 pieces in 3 months and now about 1500 every month!
FIV: What do your collections look like and where can interested parties buy your collections?
Everything I design is 100% handmade, colorful and does not conform to the norm. We have over 400 customers worldwide who sell our products and of course in our online store.
Pegah about her job as a designer in Munich
FIV: Did you do a traditional apprenticeship or how did you get started in the profession?
I didn’t do a classical education, but funnily enough the talent is somehow in the blood of the successful designers. I also earn between 1000€ and sometimes 5000€ a day as a styling consultant. People trust my word and I also try to explain to people why they should buy something before I sell it to them. Most of the time they get so many compliments that they call me and refer more clients to me. After all, I started without advertising. It took on its own momentum, like the jewelry. Out of the living room into an office in my husband’s office complex, and from there to Residence Street. About Chloé.
Nowadays it’s extremely difficult to make your mark because you need the breath, the money and the strength to survive long enough in the market to make your mark or find a place for yourself in fashion heaven.
FIV: Do you think it’s hard to establish yourself as a designer in Munich these days?
It’s very hard to establish yourself as a designer in Munich. You need something special without reinventing the wheel. You have to have your own signature, which clearly stands out from all the others without a label or branding. For that you need a good connection to the press, money and a lot of staying power!
FIV: What do you think is the most important quality to become a successful designer?
Successful is only the one who appears authentic to the outside world. The one who appears strong and inspires confidence. Speaking of new designers. People want to be looked after, addressed by name and not just be a number. I shop where I will be decently served and cared for. As a customer, I want to feel like someone special! It’s only when I’m treated like that that I wear those clothes or jewellery a little more confidently and excitingly, because it makes me feel special.
FIV: Dear Pegah, thank you very much for the interview!
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