Designer Spotlight: Alaa Balkhy-The Fyunka Girl Is Coming to Bahrain !!


The Fyunka Girl Is Coming to Bahrain!

Fyunka is a fashion accessories line created by Jeddah-based designer Alaa Balkhy.  Fyunka is an Arabic slang word and can be defined as a ribbon bow. Balkhy will be selling her exclusive handbags, tote bags, cosmetic pouches, iPad cases, pillows, and more products. “I’m very excited to showcase my collection at BAB Market in Bahrain,” enthused Alaa Balkhy.

 First launched in June 2011, Fyunka has become hugely popular because of its strong fashion focus and stylish illustrations that most women in the Middle East can relate to.  The Fyunka brand is all about adding a pop of design into one’s wardrobe with quirky quotes, illustrations and a range of colors.

I got to interview Alaa and find out more about her, her inspiration and lots more (interview below).  Don’t miss the chance to meet Alaa this weekend at Bab Market!

Fyunka BAHRAIN 2-01 vol

1.  What was it like growing up in Jeddah and how do you think it has influenced your illustration/graphic style?

I love Jeddah, growing up there was quite interesting, it’s one of those cities where it has so much mixed culture it’s amazing.

I do think it has influence my illustrations a lot, I love to illustrate about culture and social topics, some controversial some not.

2.  If you hadn’t studied graphic design, what would have been your alternative? and what would your career have been?

I wanted to study computer science, I have no idea where that would’ve led to

3. How much do you think social media has effected the success of FYUNKA?

A lot, a huge part of Fyunka’s success is social media, it helped me get the word out there and I love it for that!

4.  What is your biggest inspiration that you keep returning to to create new designs and products?

Culture and fashion… I try to think about new products that people can use more prints that people will like.

5.  I love how you tap into the latest “it” bag and create a fun, playful version where you not only make it accessible to everyone but give girls the opportunity to just have fun with fashion and not be so much a slave to having to own all the “it”bags whether they can afford them or not. It’s more about individuality. You came up with the “baba abgha birkin” which translates to “Baba I want a Birkin” at a time when every sara, selma and sophia were carrying birkins to every dinner, event and supermarket.. it got so saturated and it was refreshing to see Fyunka’s comic angle to the Birkin mania.  What were people’s reaction to it? and were you surprised?

People loved that illustration, it was a humorous approach to a cultural insight and I guess people got it right away.

6.  How would you describe the Fyunka girl ?

The fyunka girl is the girl that wants to stand out from the crowd and create her own style, she loves sparkles and plastic shoes and she has a shopping problem.

7.  What are your 7 must have travel items?





Plastic wedges


A Fyunka!

8.  Which decade would you like to revisit?

1960, Mad Men to be specific

9. If there was one person alive or dead you would like to meet, who would it be?

Coco Chanel!

Fyunka will participate at BAB Market, a contemporary outdoor festival at Bab Al Bahrain and Manama Souq on March 21, 22 and 23 from 4 pm to 10 pm each day. 

bottles purple

You can find Fyunka at the stores below:

S*uce Boutique > Dubai-Abu Dhabi
Impression Boutique > Qatar
Maison Bo-M  > Jeddah-Riyadh
Fortune Cookie Boutique > Kuwait
Green Diamond Boutique > Bahrain
and soon in Oman, Egypt and Jordan!

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