Manaal Al Hammadi
- I began designing when I started to wear the abaya and couldn’t find anything that reflected my taste, so I’d go to my tailor with a cut in mind and explain what I wanted. Family and close friends were my first customers, and it all grew from there. I like sculptural shapes and have been influenced by Japanese designers to work in neoprene.
In 2016, I collaborated with jewellery and watchmaking powerhouse Piaget as brand ambassador and creative director to design two ensembles inspired by classic watches, that were used for a Piaget campaign. I’ve also run successful trunk shows throughout the GCC for my collection, Manaal Al Hammadi.
I’ve been working on a prototype for an abaya that’s solar-powered to charge mobile phones – we’re still at the early stages of conceptualisation but we did present it at the World Energy Summit. Prototype 1 currently resides at a very high-tech lab in Greece and is being tested.
My beautiful mother is my most important influencer. I’ve endless admiration for her and she’s taught me everything I know and do. I don’t hold a degree in fashion design, but I’ve learnt all the techniques from her.