Fashion Shoot: Fashion Forward

Meet the designers
ByNaomi ChaddertonMonday , 13 April 2015
Fashion Shoot: Fashion Forward
© ITP Images

House of Nomad
Making their FFWD debut, Dubai-based Ahmed El Sayed and Saleh Al-Banna are shaking up the local style scene with their oh-so- chic designs

What are your thoughts on the Dubai style scene?
Dubai is a multicultural hot spot and on a daily basis we see so much street-style fashion that inspires our collections. We sometimes have lunch outside and take notes on what people are wearing and what’s trending and feed our new collections with those ideas.

Was there an immediate natural synergy between the two of you?
House of Nomad was born through our mutual love for fashion – we shop together, travel together, but still hold our own individual styles. After creating a few custom pieces for our friends, we started getting a lot of positive comments from outsiders, which was a push for us to create a full collection. We also noticed a gap in the market for two Arab men running a clothing brand that caters to both genders.

It’s your first time showing at FFWD – how important do you think this event is for the local community?
We’re so excited to introduce our new collection to the FFWD family. It provides that platform to all the local designers to communicate their ideas and designs and we really wanted to have our voices heard and show the community that being a local male shouldn’t stop you from designing apparel for women and men. We’re very proud to have Saleh as the first local man to showcase his work too.

Which A-lister would you love to see wearing your designs?
Kendall Jenner, Kylie Jenner, FKA Twigs, Ariana Grande…

What can we expect next from House of Nomad?
As we celebrate one year with the brand this month, we are taking the direction of ready-to-wear with a sport-luxe feel. The new collections moving forward will heavily reference that.

SHOW TIME: 8pm Sun 12 Apr

Madiyah al Sharqi
Returning to FFWD for her third season, the Emirati designer offers stunning eveningwear with a twist

You’ve achieved so much at such a young age – what got you interested in fashion design?
My mother has an in-house designer and an atelier, so when I was young I’d watch the designers present sketches to her that turned into creations and I instantly fell in love with the whole process. My love for all things fashion grew and a career in design was firmly set in my sights.

What were the inspirations for your new collection?
This season, I continued my exploration with lines and asymmetry. Recently I have been spending a lot of time in Los Angeles, and I think of this collection as representing a winter in LA.

What has been your proudest career moment to date?
Every season my pieces are selling at a high sale point and this is definitely my proudest career moment as it reflects my customers’ love for my pieces and pushes me to give more.

If you could dress any A-list celebrity for the red carpet, who would it be? 
My aim is not to dress celebrities but to dress women from the region and all around the world.

Who do you think always looks great on the red carpet?
Rihanna, without a doubt, always gets it right. She experiments with her clothes and plays around with her very unique and challenging fashion sense. 

What are you most looking forward to at this year’s event?
I’m looking forward to and am intrigued to see the crowd’s reaction to my latest collection, as it’s totally different to any of my previous collections they have seen before.

SHOW TIME: 6.30pm Sun 12 Apr

Aiisha Ramadan
The Lebanese designer is stepping away from her couture roots…

What do you think FFWD means for the regional fashion industry?
Fashion Forward is the perfect platform for designers to shine and showcase their work. It’s an opportunity for the industry to come together to recognise the creative talent in the region and it’s definitely heading towards becoming an internationally recognised event in the global fashion calendar.

What inspires you when designing your collections? 
Quite simply, love. I don’t remember having the ability to sketch or enjoy my imagination when feeling down. I see beauty in all aspects of my life, so it leads my spirit and ends up a story.

Do you have any advice for those looking to start out in the industry? 
Invest a few years of your life interning for your favourite designer. It will both educate you about the business and save you a lot of money that is shed on trial and error.

If you could dress any A-list celebrity for the red carpet, who would it be? 
Cate Blanchett – she is so elegant and has that classic yet natural beauty.

Tell us a little more about your latest collection – what can we expect to see at Fashion Forward? 
You’ll see a bit from the Aiisha you’ve known in the past, but a lot more from what I’ve evolved into. Over the past 12 months we’ve focused on RTW as I felt it was important to reach a wider audience with a more contemporary signature. My latest collection, City Lights, is inspired by a photo that represented geometric lines and coloured lights.

Have you shown at Fashion Forward before? What are you most looking forward to?
This will be my first time at Fashion Forward. I’m really looking forward to seeing people’s reactions to my new collection. We have worked so hard to make sure it speaks a full story that is both relevant to my loyal customers as well as attracting new clients.

How would you describe your personal style?
Your style should reflect what you feel inside, and mine changes from day to day. It always reflects my spontaneous attitude and consistent love of life, though! I always have to feel relaxed, but if you feel beautiful and confident inside, you will always feel comfortable on the outside.

SHOW TIME: 5pm Sat 11 Apr

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