Design Legends ("DL") had the distinct honour to interview legendary designer Mana Khaloo ("MK") for their original perspective and innovative approach to design as well as their creative lifestyle, we are very pleased to share our interview with our distinguished readers.

DL: Could you please tell us a bit about your design background and education?

MK : 1-She has always been interested in artistic works and art in general. That’s why she decided to go to vocational school after middle school. There she studied Graphic design and graduated with significant achievements, from the Art and Architecture faculty of Shiraz University, in Graphic Design. However, as she was knee-deep into creating artifacts with her own hands rather than computerizing them, she started creating handicrafts, such as stencil print (on scarves and cushions sewn by herself), candle making, knitting, weaving leather accessories, etc. Gaining different experiences with handicrafts, she learned she was fond of making jewelry, so she took several courses in goldsmith and jewelry making. Finally, she took a goldsmith technical and vocational skill certificate along with a jewelry design handicraft degree in 2019. She managed to establish her own brand and successfully started the business. Now she has regular and new customers from around the world.

DL: What motivates you to design in general, why did you become a designer?

MK : She always wanted to create her own designs, so she became an entrepreneur in 2018 and made her own business and brand from scratch. She built her workshop, in her hometown.

DL: Did you choose to become a designer, or you were forced to become one?

MK : She has always wanted to be an artist, and fortunately, her parents didn’t force her to follow the family business.

DL: What do you design, what type of designs do you wish to design more of?

MK : Artistic silver jewelry. She’s more into designing high-class jewel necklaces.

DL: What should young designers do to become a design legend like you?

MK : Practice, practice, and practice.

DL: What distinguishes between a good designer and a great designer?

MK : Having enough attitude and aptitude are needed to be a good designer, however turning into a great designer needs a great amount of patience, perseverance, and knowledge.

DL: What makes a good design a really good design, how do you evaluate good design?

MK : Being artistically elegant and eye-catching at the first sight.

DL: What is the value of good design? Why should everyone invest in good design?

MK : One of the characteristics of a good design is being timeless, that is why a great design will always be distinguished.

DL: What would you design and who would you design for if you had the time?

MK : She would design a necklace for her loved ones.

DL: What is the dream project you haven’t yet had time to realize?

MK : Hashieh collection is one of her in-hand projects, related to Persian carpet motives that can be a collection of golden rings and other accessories.

DL: What is your secret recipe of success in design, what is your secret ingredient?

MK : a lot of creativity, tones of persistence, and resistance with a dash of support.

DL: Who are some other design masters and legends you get inspired from?

MK : American artist, Daniel Arsham.

DL: What are your favorite designs by other designers, why do you like them?

MK : Daniel Arsham collection cooperating with Dior and Tiffany.

DL: What is your greatest design, which aspects of that design makes you think it is great?

MK : Evidentially the Lotus date recorder that had been submitted for A design award. The concept of being part of her Persian cultural heritage and the functionality of the pendant.

DL: How could people improve themselves to be better designers, what did you do?

MK : Following great designers and researching their methods led to improving her creativity and skillfulness.

DL: If you hadn’t become a designer, what would you have done?

MK : Art being the main part of her life, she would be an art critical writer.

DL: How do you define design, what is design for you?

MK : The design has to be both beautiful and problem-solver at the same time.

DL: Who helped you to reach these heights, who was your biggest supporter?

MK : Her parents.

DL: What helped you to become a great designer?

MK : Her creativity, perseverance, and family's financial support.

DL: What were the obstacles you faced before becoming a design master?

MK : Jewelry design in Iran is a male-dominated field, and overcoming all the obstacles helped her become a great designer.

DL: How do you think designers should present their work?

MK : Every piece of design has its own way of presenting, it depends on the piece and should be presented in the best way possible.

DL: What’s your next design project, what should we expect from you in future?

MK : Since Iranian women are dealing with the first female running protest for their freedom, her next collection (Woman Iran Freedom), inspired by Woman - Life - Freedom

DL: What’s your ultimate goal as a designer?

MK : To have her picture on the cover of Vogue magazine as the best high-class jewelry designer.

DL: What people expect from an esteemed designer such as yourself?

MK : To be their voice and reflect their life in all the designs.

DL: How does design help create a better society?

MK : Since art and design come from the heart of the artist they can bring people's souls together.

DL: What are you currently working on that you are especially excited about?

MK : As answered before, Since Iranian women are dealing with the first female running protest for their freedom, her next collection (Woman Iran Freedom), inspired by Woman - Life - Freedom

DL: Which design projects gave you the most satisfaction, why?

MK : Lotus date recorder, because it has the most functionality as jewelry.

DL: What would you like to see changed in design industry in the coming years?

MK : Trusting more on young artists and being a gender-neutral environment.

DL: Where do you think the design field is headed next?

MK : Into the field of wearable technology such as Airpods.

DL: How long does it take you to finalize a design project?

MK : It depends on the depth of the concept chosen for the design.

DL: When you have a new design project, where do you start?

MK : Sketching on paper.

DL: What is your life motto as a designer?

MK : No What Ifs.

DL: Do you think design sets the trends or trends set the designs?

MK : If the designer is high-class and well-known, they set the trend. Otherwise, designers follow the trends. She hopes one day she will be the designer establishing new trends.

DL: What is the role of technology when you design?

MK : as time goes by, technology plays a bigger role in every aspect of our life, designing included. In this specific area, technology helps to see the piece in the life-like 3D models before the creation.

DL: What kind of design software and equipment do you use in your work?

MK : As for the software, she uses illustrator, photoshop, and matrix. Since all her works are handmade, she uses quite a lot of goldsmith tools such hand saw, rolling machine, smith, magnet machine, etc. she also searches among historic books and art books.

DL: What is the role of the color, materials and ambient in design?

MK : Having access to the variety of stones in Iran, her design employs color by using different materials.

DL: What do you wish people to ask about your design?

MK : What the story behind them is.

DL: When you see a new great design or product what comes into your mind?

MK : At the first glance, appreciate the beauty of the work, and after that try to learn from it and understand the meaning behind it.

DL: Who is your ideal design partner? Do you believe in co-design?

MK : A person who shares the same point of view toward designing and work.

DL: Which books you read had the most effect on your design?

MK : Persians: The Age of the Great Kings

DL: How did you develop your skills as a master designer?

MK : practice, practice, and practice.

DL: Irrelative of time and space, who you would want to meet, talk and discuss with?

MK : Farah Pahlavi, Queen, and Empress of Iran

DL: What is your favorite color, place, food, season, thing and brand?

MK : Color: Red. Place: Sistine Chapel, Vaticane Musem. Food: Persin Food. Season: Fall. Thing: Mobile phone. Brand: Harry Winston.

DL: What makes your day great as a designer, how do you motivate yourself?

MK : She talks to her fellow designers about new ideas and trends worldwide. She watches a lot of motivational videos and listens to podcasts. Sometimes she seeks out inspiration in art galleries, museum exhibitions, and so on. Although award-winning designers have been a huge inspiration to her, especially the A'Desgin Award.

DL: When you were a little child, was it obvious that you would become a great designer?

MK : Her parents' stories of her childhood, always start with her deep curiosity and building new objects from reusable materials in hand.

DL: What do you think about future; what do you see will happen in thousand years from now?

MK : unfortunately, what going on around the world in recent years, especially in her country Iran, has made her less optimistic. However, she wishes with all her heart a world full of peace and love.

DL: Please tell us anything you wish your fans to know about you, your design and anything else?

MK : Being a female entrepreneur in the field of design in Iran has so many obstacles and a hard way to pass. She hopes this can be seen through her works by her audiences and fans.



Lotus Date Recorder Pendant

Lotus Date Recorder Pendant by Mana Khaloo

Design Legends Logo

© 2020 Design Legends - All Rights Reserved

Design Legends platform highlights valuable insights from the best designers from across the globe; a great resource for all designers to learn, reflect and think about good design and how good design helps create value for the society.

Design Legends website was created by DesignPRWire and A' Design Award to promote truly great designers, outstanding architects and inspirational artists that contribute to the development and advancement of society with their outstanding works.