Hot 100 2011 - Zeina Sultani, Amanda Navaian and Dima Ayad
As a self-confessed “bourgeoisie bohemian” and the stylish woman behind Ines, Zeina (far right) has carved a name for herself in fashion thanks to her beautiful ballerina flats.
“Don’t get me wrong, I love heels and the sensuality they inspire but being a modern working woman, I also know we need to feel comfortable and free while retaining a sense of elegance.”
Coming to Dubai from Paris, Zeina always had an eye for design and since she first launched her collection in 2009, she hasn’t looked back. “Fashion design is very easy. All you need is a pen, paper and a creative mind. Building a brand and running a firm is really the hard part.”
Known for her luxurious python skin handbags, Navaian founder Amanda (right) started her collection with just 15 clutches and a lot of enthusiasm. “I participated in the Odyssey Trunk show and sold eight bags in one day! With the profits I began my first production, and then my second and so on…”
Soon, Amanda managed to get her collection in Bloomingdales, but not without sheer determination. “I called every single day, until I got hold of a buyer and managed to pin them down for a meeting.” And the rest is history for the determined businesswoman. “Eight years ago I told my uncle I wanted to become a self-made millionaire. He said, ‘just do it!’ Andy maybe I just will!”
As a marketing director by day and fashion designer by night, emerging pret-a-porter and eveningwear designer, Dima (centre), is living proof that you can have your cake and eat it.
“Designing is something I love because it literally is my freedom of expressing who I am. I started out designing for myself out of pure frustration – I couldn’t find what I was looking for – so I made my own clothes and friends would constantly ask me where I bought everything !”
Next thing, the UAE-born designer found herself launching her own label. “It’s a challenge to handle both careers and continuously excel, but just stay motivated and you can succeed!”