It's no secret that handbag designer Luna Amani owes her distinctive signature style to her rich Persian heritage and her memories of Tehran and Shiraz as a child. However, her strongest creative influence has always been her mother, the abstract artist Rouhi Amani whose work is characterised by a constant interplay of colours, light, and symbolism.
On leaving Iran, the family moved to a sprawling mansion in west Wales where Rouhi’s studio and gallery became Luna’s childhood playground. “My mum painted on every single wall in the house,” Luna recalls. “She’s really into symbolic representation and what it means, so she would draw symbols that she felt would protect the house. She even painted motifs on the wooden floorboards in the hall. My love of colour and Iranian motifs has definitely come from her,” she admits.
According to Luna’s mother Rouhi, “It’s very important to give children their own space, and let them identify their own talents early on rather than impose our beliefs on them,” she reveals, referring how she goes against the grain of typical Iranian parents who prefer their children to follow more traditional paths. “They all had their own minds. Everyone had their own space.”
This bohemian upbringing – plus an extended family of Iranian aunties who became tailors after being frustrated when they couldn’t find the trends they liked in Tehran – paid off, with her brothers following their passions of music and art respectively, and Luna pursuing a career in accessory design. Rouhi attributes this to the fact she created an environment where theyv could find themselves. “We’re a creative family,” Luna points out in something of an understatement.
The Luna Amani SS19 collection brings all these influences together with the geometric shapes and bold use of colour combining her mum’s art and the majestic architecture of The Azadi Tower and its surrounding octagonal gardens in the Donya clutch, adorned with rock-star studs, gold hardware, and her distinctive LA logo. Elsewhere in the collection, a geometric shoulder bag and boxy grab bag are hardworking all-rounders.
For those who didn’t have such a carefree and creative upbringing, Luna wants to use her brand to pay it forward, and currently donates a percentage of her sales to selected charities that support young women in Iran as they follow their dreams. Family values done right.
• Luna is offering Grazia readers free shipping on all orders to the Middle East. Visit lunaamani.com