Monday July 22nd, 2024

Drawn to Design Since Youth, Rania Manasra Pursues Dreams Through Bag

“What makes my designs unique is that they simply are so - they’re a reflection of me.”

Ziyad El-Helbawy

For as long as she could remember, Jordanian luxury accessories designer Rania Manasra found solace in creation. Whether through sketches, handmade accessories, or daydreaming about her future, she felt an innate calling for the fashion industry. Her dream of launching her own luxury label materialised in 2018.

“Fashion truly is my passion and has been ever since I was a young girl,” Manasra shares with SceneStyled. “The dream has always been there, but it really took off when I doubled down on this passion by pursuing a fashion education in Milan.”

Specialising in luxury fashion and leather handbag design, Manasra’s education in one of the world’s foremost fashion destinations set her on a path of success. In 2021, her participation in Riyadh’s ‘Ana Arabeya’ event, which hosted designs from over 250 creators across the Arab world, marked the official launch of her eponymous luxury handbag label.

Bright, opulent, and adorned with shimmering metal finishings, each Rania Manasra bag design pays homage to classic luxury bag silhouettes while incorporating Middle Eastern representation. Manasra’s expert play on geometric shapes evokes a subtle similarity to traditional regional architectural designs.

“Designed to capture the heart,” Manasra’s bags function as an extension of her own identity and creative spirit. “Identity is what makes a Rania Manasra piece. When someone looks at my bags from a distance, I want them to immediately think, ‘that’s a Rania Manasra bag’ – that is what I have always wanted to achieve and believe I have,” she shares with SceneStyled.

Through her collections, ‘Laura,’ ‘Opulent,’ ‘Pukka,’ and ‘Naya,’ Manasra imbues her essence into each piece, from the leather cut to the metal accents and finish. Each collection carries its own distinct structural form, but one element remains constant: the Arab Deer.

Feeling a deep connection with nature, Manasra admires the poise and nobility of deer. In Arab culture, deer and gazelles symbolise tenderness, grace, and pride, often featured in ancient poetry to represent beauty. Manasra incorporates these qualities into her designs with her unique logo – an Arab deer's head surrounded by floral motifs, echoing those seen on traditional Arab women’s dresses.

The result is a series of luxury handbags that evoke modern sophistication while maintaining a traditional spirit. When asked what makes her creations unique, Manasra responds simply and admirably, “they simply are so – they’re a reflection of me.”

Manasra’s vision has resonated with many throughout the region. Her bags are cherished in Jordan, Saudi Arabia, Egypt, and even the United States, often flaunted by regional celebrities such as Egyptian actresses Mai Omar and Jory Bakr, Saudi presenter Lojain Omran, Lebanese sensation Razan Moughrabi, and legendary artist Paula Abdul.

With her designs available in Egypt at Heliopolis’ EACH Cluster, of which she is an inaugural member, Manasra expressed her joy at being part of the Egyptian market. “Egypt has long been an incubator for the arts, and I’m in awe of the creativity I am surrounded by. As an Arab designer and a Jordanian designer specifically, I wanted to be part of that. I was truly inspired to bring my designs to Egypt,” she shares with SceneStyled.

Most recently, Manasra showcased her creations at Cairo Design Week alongside her fellow designers and peers from the Egyptian Artists, Creatives, and Hand-crafters cluster at the iconic Salah El Din Citadel.

Aspiring to spread her luxury handbag designs farther and wider, Manasra hopes to see her creations take over the international fashion scene, both within the region and beyond.