Launched in 2022, Qatar-based FROMM.'s journey is an inspiring example of how championing local creativity can lead to remarkable achievements. At the heart of their mission lies a design process that encourages experimentation and collaboration. FROMM. believes in pushing boundaries and embracing cultural influences, fostering an environment where designers can explore new materials and techniques freely. By providing strategic exposure and valuable partnerships, they pave the way for local talents to thrive on an international stage. FROMM. is also deeply committed to providing resources and mentorship, empowering designers to hone their skills and carve their paths in the design industry.

A testament to their dedication is the recent success of Qatari designers Abdulrahman Al-Muftah and Noora Al Melheim, at the renowned Salone del Mobile in 2023 and FROMM.’s Shurouq Collection, by Shua’a Ali and Maryam Al Suwaidi, at Milan Design Week 2022. The staircase in M7, The creative hub in Msheireb, was also decorated by Hammam Al Abdullah’s Sadu pieces.

In this interview, we delve with Alia Rachid, the founder and CEO, into how FROMM. supports and showcases Qatar-based designers' collections in the global design market.

Hammam Al Abdulla with The Sadu Step Collection

(Marsya Abdulghani): How does FROMM. identify and recognize the strengths and creativity of aspiring designers?

(Alia Rachid): Through a thorough selection process that involves reviewing portfolios, evaluating design concepts, and conducting interviews. We look for innovative ideas, unique perspectives, and a strong design aesthetic in aspiring designers.

(M.A.): In what way does the "FROMM. Design Process" push creatives to reach their limits and test creative inspirations?

(A.R.): By encouraging experimentation, exploration of new materials and techniques, and pushing the boundaries of traditional design concepts through heritage innovation. Through collaborative brainstorming sessions and design workshops with our design team, we encourage designers to think outside the box and challenge conventional norms.

(M.A.): What types of resources and design infrastructure does FROMM. provide designers to support their creative process?

(A.R.): FROMM. provides designers with a range of resources and design infrastructure to support their creative process. These include design workshops, a network of industry experts and mentors, and opportunities for collaboration with other designers and professionals.

Wanas Collection by Noora Al-Melhim

(M.A.): How does FROMM. showcase and sell collections produced by Qatari designers in the global design market? 

(A.R.): FROMM. showcases and sells collections produced by designers in the global design market through various prestigious venues and channels. Our collections can be found in renowned locations such as the Rossana Orlandi Master Gallery in Milan, Italy, and the Studio D Gallery in Doha, Qatar. Additionally, we have our own showrooms in Milan and Doha, providing a dedicated space for customers to experience our luxury furniture firsthand. We have also secured upcoming partnerships, including Printemps in Doha, Qatar and at Beymen, a luxury department store with locations throughout Turkey. These strategic collaborations and distribution channels enable FROMM. to reach a wide range of international customers and showcase our curated collections in prestigious retail environments.

(M.A.): What are some examples of how FROMM. supports local artists and bridges the gap between Milan design culture and local design culture?

(A.R.): FROMM. is deeply committed to supporting local artists, and designers in facilitating cultural exchange between Milan's vibrant design scene and the local design culture. By collaborating with emerging talents from Qatar and the broader region, FROMM. creates a platform for these designers to showcase their work on an international stage. Through mentorship programs, workshops, and exhibitions, FROMM. provides valuable resources and guidance to local designers, enabling them to refine their craft and elevate their designs. This collaboration not only celebrates the rich heritage and artistic traditions of the region but also fosters a dynamic exchange of ideas, pushing the boundaries of design innovation. The success of FROMM.'s approach can be witnessed in the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan, where the public warmly received the products from Qatari designers, showcasing the positive impact of bridging cultures and creating a global platform for local talent. This commitment to supporting local artists and celebrating cultural diversity sets FROMM. apart as a brand that values and promotes both global and local design narratives.

Shurouq Collection by Shua’a Ali and Maryam Al Suwaidi

(M.A.): How does FROMM. measure the impact and success of their program in terms of supporting aspiring designers and contributing to the design industry?

(A.R.): We measure the impact and success of our program by tracking various metrics, including the recognition received by our designers, the commercial success of our collections, feedback from industry experts and customers, and the career growth and opportunities achieved by the designers we have supported. 

(M.A.): In the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan, how has the public received the products from the Qatari designers?

(A.R.): In the recent Salone del Mobile in Milan, the public not only embraced the exceptional designs showcased by Qatari designers but also experienced a profound cultural exchange. The unique design concepts, meticulous craftsmanship, and integration of Qatari cultural elements have garnered attention and appreciation from visitors and industry professionals. The products have received positive feedback for their innovative approach, high-quality craftsmanship, comfort, and ability to blend contemporary design with traditional influences. 

Images courtesy of FROMM.

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