Ten Arab Women Taking Fashion Design by Storm
By: Emily Devereaux/Arab America Contributing Writer
Recently, the Arab world has become more keen on fashion design. Actually, 2018 produced the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh under the Arab Fashion Council. Since then, there has been greater attention and publicity for the intricacy and artistry of Arab fashion designers. Contributing Writer Emily Devereaux put together this list of top ten female Arab fashion designers in no particular order because it was hard to select just one favorite!
Egyptian fashion is seeing many talented fashion designers lately; one of them stands-out, Marmar Halim. While her home country is fawning over her elegant style, the entire Middle East region has recognized Halim’s talent for a while. Many Arab celebrities such as actress Dorra Zarrouk and singer/actress Sherine Abdel-Wahab have been seen wearing Halim’s beautiful looks. American stars also picked up on Halim’s talent. Singer/songwriter Skylar Grey sported Halim’s looks at the premiere of Suicide Squad, where her song was featured in. It’s likely that her works will reappear on the red carpet again soon!
This native Beirut woman, Reem Acra, has gained much traction with her bridal gown collection. Coming from a family of academia, she decided to pursue degrees in her passion areas of business and fashion design. Before starting her own line in New York, Acra worked as a luxury interior designer for three years. She finally found her stride in bridal gowns when was designing a dress for a friend’s wedding in three weeks. This deadline determined a bet for her friend to go through with the wedding. However, she also has a knack for evening gowns, with a plethora of stars sporting her on the red carpet.
Based in the United Arab Emirates, Aiisha Ramadan crafts her beautiful garments that “speak to feminine women across the world“. Ramadan, a Lebanese native, says her pieces that bridge her love of extravagance with her own personal style that embraces living spontaneously. Ramadan is known for strong engagement with her fans and supporters. She communicates positive messages of gaining confidence, and overcoming fears; she educates her fans on fashion via the social media platform, twitter (@aiisharamadan).
Natalie Tahhan is especially unique because she is a pioneer of international fashion expertise in Jerusalem. She creates high-end women’s wear that is supposed to cater to a feminine and sophisticated audience. In her work. Tahhan weaves traditional elements of intricate Palestinian designs and embroideries. She decided to return home to Jerusalem after working throughout the Middle East and Europe, specifically in London, Qatar, and the United Arab Emirates. Recently, she collaborated with Al Mortaqa Organisation in East Jerusalem to produce two collections designed, manufactured, and produced by Tahhan where she creates works that hit close to home and showcase contemporary Palestinian fashion.
Born, raised, and educated in Beirut, Najem embraces her Lebanese fashion sense and has worked under several notable Lebanese designers, such as Elie Saab. She has a strong appreciation for traditional artistry and works to bridge traditional heritage and the modern woman. Therefore, Najem has been a figure in empowering women who come from underprivileged backgrounds and has achieved this goal through the NGO Kenzah Foundation which she launched in parallel with her luxury fashion brand. Additionally, Najem is committed to having sustainable and environmentally conscious materials as a part of her brand.
With her strong foundation in both fashion history and tailoring, Lama Jouni trained under many different fashion labels which helped her develop an eye for unique designs and aesthetics. Originally hailing from Lebanon, Jouni studied in Paris and then eventually moved to Dubai to launch her line. However, she chose to eventually move all operations to Beirut, Lebanon in order to fill the large production gap in the fashion industry’s infrastructure. Her works are recognized and celebrated internationally, the Arab world and Europe.
Hind Adib has been crafting some statements… seriously. Born in Iraq and based in Dubai, Adib recently launched a line of vintage denim jackets that are decorated with bold statements. With slogans like “Fight like a girl” and “I’ve got my own back”. She also promotes empowerment, independence, and self-love. These jackets have been found in the music scene, with American rapper, G-Eazy, sporting one at a music festival back in February.
Fatema Al Fardan
This native to the United Arab Emirates was educated in London where she received degrees in fashion design and marketing. Al Fardan says she found her calling in fashion at the age of nine when she was inspired by her fashion-forward family and was fascinated with colors, styles, and fabrics. Her vision includes international design, developing technical drawings, and embroidering items, which speaks to her artistic vision and views. She hopes to cater to the subtle sensuality and feminine simplicity of self-assured women.
This Egyptian fashion designer made her debut at the first Arab Fashion Week in Riyadh. Yousry’s latest collection of twenty-five couture pieces is for women that embody feminism, boldness, strength, and power. This message encourages and empowers women to find their strength and power. In addition, Yousry emphasizes that her collection is dedicated to “the art of creation- it’s not just about wearing a dress, but the story behind it.” It looks like Yousry, a young designer, will be around telling stories in her pieces for a long time to come!
Mashael Al Rajhi
Mashael Al Rajhi is a native to Saudi Arabia who emphasizes perfection and passion for creativity. As a result of successful academic carers at both King Saud University and the Box Hill Institute, Al Rajhi immediately dipped her toes in the waters of fashion design where she found herself successfully creating collections for both men and women. Above all, she is often regarded as a rebel with a cause because she deviates from the trends of her contemporaries and focuses her fashion on cultural origin, with her use of intricate techniques and building texture on flat fabrics.