Wonders of the Sea Mask brings Egypt back to London’s Animal Ball

Ingy Deif, Wednesday 5 Jul 2023

Inspired by the Hawksbill Turtle, Egypt’s jewelry designer Azza Fahmy contributed to the Animal Ball this year.

Sea Mask
AF Mask Wonders of the Sea


The Animal Ball, a creative tribute to the world's endangered animals, returned to London on June 28, 2023.

The event, presented by the Tintra Foundation, aimed to raise funds for conservation programs in South Asia.

The Animal Ball is known for its impressive animal headgear, created by some of fashion’s greatest creative minds, including Sabyasachi, Prada, Chloe, Burberry, Charlotte Olympia, and Missoni.

Each piece of headgear is made sustainably and pays homage to endangered animals worldwide.

Acclaimed jewellery designer Azza Fahmy presented her contribution to the Animal Ball this year.

Her piece, the Wonders of the Sea Mask, was inspired by the Hawksbill Turtle, a mesmerizing creature that gracefully roams the vibrant coral reefs of the Red Sea.

The mask was crafted from sterling silver and adorned with gemstones and mirrors. The artistic silhouette of the turtle was merged with that of the starfish, another threatened aquatic creature, to create an exquisite and unique piece of headgear.

The head designer of Fahmy’s workshop, Amina Ghali, enjoyed the creative challenge of bringing the Wonders of the Sea Mask to life. The piece was not only an expression of her love of the sea, but also her dedication to the cause of conservation.

More than half a century ago, the Cairo-based jeweller Fahmy ventured as an apprentice into the male-dominated workshops of Khan El-Khalili, learning all she could about the centuries-old craft of jewellery making.

She started her workshop with a handful of workers, aiming to tell stories of Egyptian heritage and culture through her creations.

Fahmy eventually launched her own line and became one of Egypt's most famous jewellery designers.

Fahmy is acclaimed worldwide not only for her designs, which rely on meticulous research, but also for her preservation of the Ottoman craftsmen hierarchy, which had been preserved in Egypt for centuries.

In her workshop, craftsmen are ranked according to seniority and experience into three categories: master (osta), handyman (snaiei), and apprentice (sabi). This skilled trade is preserved and passed down through generations.

The Animal Ball, hosted in past years by King Charles III of the United Kingdom and Queen consort Camilla, has raised millions for conservation efforts.

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