Walid Al Damirji is a historian at heart. He is also a prolific and eclectic creator whose ideas have had many different outlets. From fashion to food, Walid’s mind is constantly aflutter with new impulses. Currently his focus is his eponymous line of vintage accessories available at CoutureLab and Cocomaya, the artisanal bakery and fine chocolate shop in central London that he is a partner in.
Step foot into the Cocomaya chocolate shop and it becomes evident how interconnected all of Walid’s creative endeavors actually are, even when at first the link between truffles and vintage mink-fur collars seems rather obscure.
The shop is like a cabinet of delicious curiosities. On a marble counter, chocolate truffles
gleam like jewels in vintage cake stands. Mixed in with more traditional truffles are some intriguing items: a heap of chunky chocolate skulls in bronze, silver and gold, some chocolate lady bugs in pop colors, and, a plate of chocolate cameos designed by the antiques dealer Peter Horne. In a red and hot pink lacquered display cabinet at the back of the shop, a collection of vintage tea sets is displayed for sale, a reminder of Walid’s passion for giving forgotten items a second life.
Walid admits he doesn’t bake or make chocolates himself, though he loves to cook and entertain. “Ironically baking is not part of my repertoire, but as they say in the Middle East ‘He knows the taste of his own mouth’, and I know what flavours will work together.