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    A post opulent aura with Rolls-Royce

    April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now Creative Direction: Amy SessionsPhotography: Greg AdamskiVideographer: Joachim GuayFashion Assistant: Sarah JosephHair & Makeup: Ania Poniatowska at MMG artistsWith special thanks to Alserkal Avenue, Al QuozAll Fashion at Ounass.comThe new Rolls-Royce Ghost is the epitome of minimalist elegance.As Henry Royce, the founder of Rolls-Royce, famously said, “Small things make perfection, but perfection is not a small thing.” For further information: AGMC Rolls-Royce Motors Cars DubaiApril’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    Soft Power – An exclusive interview with Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum

    April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now Creative Direction: Amy SessionsPhotography: Greg AdamskiProduction: Olivia MorrisFashion Assistant: Sarah JosephMakeup & Hair: Ania Poniatowska at MMG ArtistsHer Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum, founder of Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery, talks to Emirates Woman exclusively about gratitude, determination and the inspiration behind her debut collection.Born and raised in the UAE to a mother with a love for the arts and a caring and supportive father, Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum has a lot to be grateful for, especially her family, which is at the heart of her eponymous jewellery brand, Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery.The down-to-earth Sheikha recently debuted the brand with the ‘My Treasure’ collection, using butterflies, a tribute and a symbol of her gratitude to her late grandmother, after whom she was named. Each piece honours the memory of the elder Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum, one of Dubai’s most remarkable women, as it encourages women to embark on a journey to find their inner strength and purpose.“Butterflies are symbols of transformation and beauty and my grandmother grew up at a time when options were limited for women, but she didn’t let that stop her,” Sheikha Sana says. “She found a way to shine and to help others shine which is why I consider her a treasure.”Taking inspiration from her grandmother has taken the young Sana on her path to entrepreneurship and womanhood. Her Highness’ warm and gentle nature belies her fierce determination to stand on her own two feet and her keen awareness of the world around her. Understanding that her position in life awards her privilege, she aims to utilise her position to partner with education-related charities, with a focus on women and children.“I was blessed to be born in the UAE, a safe haven to people from various backgrounds, where women are respected and treated equally, but I know that there are many who are not as blessed,” she explains. “I hope to help change this by partnering with charities supporting the education of young children and women’s empowerment.”Being from the UAE is a blessing Sheikha Sana never forgets, particularly in challenging circumstances. “2020 was a difficult time for the world as a whole, but through it all, thanks to the leadership’s focus on putting people’s safety first, and the many frontline workers who worked diligently to ensure that we were cared for every step of the way, we have been edging closer to the light at the end of the tunnel,” Her Highness says, sharing her gratitude. “We all came together as a society and didn’t give up on our hopes and dreams as a nation – we even made it to Mars!”The UAE is a place with endless possibilities. Having grown up in Dubai, Sheikha Sana has always been inspired by the energy of the city and the infinite opportunities the emirate has. It’s something she attributes to the leadership of Dubai “The persistence to always move forward and improve in Dubai trickles down from His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum and flows through the veins of every resident of the city,” she says. “That mindset is infectious and helps me strive to do better every day.”It’s this mindset and determination that has led the young entrepreneur to create an already hugely successful fine jewellery brand, alongside an incredible team that she’s hugely thankful for, who have been working with her to build her brand and to deliver an end product that is not only beautiful but also reflects the ideals that have been carefully crafted into every piece. As a true believer in women’s empowerment, Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery focuses on working with those who value kindness, gratitude, spirituality and honesty.For more on Sana Al Maktoum Fine Jewellery visit and follow @sanaalmaktoumofficial on InstagramApril’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    8 fashion, beauty and lifestyle brands based in the UAE to support

    From talented fashion designers to luxe dining concepts, there are numerous homegrown concepts in the UAE catered to providing something for everyone.With handcrafted elements and high street confectionaries, these brands have built themselves over the years as they continue to establish themselves as much-loved local brands in the UAE.Emirates Woman has curated a list of UAE-based brands to extend your support to as they are an ode to the region’s rich heritage.Al MraiknCombining an elegantly featured soiree edit, these expertly crafted pieces offer luxurious silhouettes with chic necklines to redefine modest wear this season.For more information on the pieces or to make a purchase visit The Giving MovementThis sustainable athleisure brand manufactured in the UAE is chic and uses recycled nylon along with certified organic bamboo while also supporting various charities such as Harmony House and Dubai Cares through each sale.To purchase or find out more information visit thegivingmovement.comBouguessaThis contemporary ready-to-wear label was founded in Dubai by Faiza Bouguessa in 2014. It offers a minimalist wardrobe focused on clean cuts and impeccable details to strong sophisticated women with highly modern cuts, bold lines, and geometric precision.To purchase or to find out more visit bouguessa.comL’AfsharDescribed as equal parts architecture and art, Lilian Afshar’s name exploded onto the scene in 2014 with her unique box bags. Mixing eclectic contemporary textures perspex and acrylic with exotic leathers, Bella Hadid and Kendall Jenner are already cult followers of the Dubai-based brand.To purchase or for more information visit lafshar.comShiffaFounded by Dr. Lamees Hamdan, this luxury skincare line from Dubai is firmly rooted in Arabic traditions using a powerful combination of active ingredients in therapeutic concentrations – to heal the skin from within and reveal its beautiful potential.For more information or to purchase visit shiffa.comMirzam Chocolate FactoryThis homegrown bean-to-bar concept and chocolate factory is the first of its kind in the emirate with an experience for everyone to relish on their visit. From roasting cocoa beans to hand wrapping each bar, the concept is inspired by the spice root as an ode to its rich heritage to create incredibly smooth chocolate with no additional additives.For more information visit mirzam.comBambahInspired by the retro era, founder and designer Maha Abdul Rasheed wanted to inject fun into women’s wardrobes with generous ruffles, bare shoulders, oversized bows and colourful floral prints. Thanks to its feminine silhouettes and bold attitude, Bambah has won itself a local and global following, and has even caught the attention of the A-list crowd, including Priyanka Chopra and Amal Clooney.For more information visit bambah.com3FILSThis homegrown concept was founded in late November 2016 to elevate your dining experience with a sense of comfort, discovery and sharing, serving premium Asian dishes with a Japanese twist as its focus while promoting harbour-side community-style dining.For more information visit 3fils.comThe Lime Tree CaféFueled with the vision of being the neighbourhood familiar store, each dish is made with quality ingredients aimed with the intention to bring delicious delicacies in a vibrant yet relaxing haven to you. Using fair-trade and organic means, the team shares a passion for creating a vibrant environment and providing delicious food.For more information visit thelimetreecafe.comFine BloomsStriving beyond the unconventional boundaries of floristry, Fine Blooms creates unique arrangements with beautifully sourced flowers to completely change any environment while creating bespoke bouquets for any occasion. This Valentine’s Day, express your love with a token of your love from this exclusive boutique, keeping quality at the heart of their designs.For more information visit– For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramFeature image: Instagram @bambah More

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    April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ with Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum

    April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now Creative Direction: Amy SessionsPhotography: Greg AdamskiProduction: Olivia MorrisFashion Assistant: Sarah JosephMakeup & Hair: Ania Poniatowska at MMG ArtistsWelcome to The Gratitude Issue.As a personal note of gratitude, I would like to thank His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Vice President and Prime Minister of UAE and Ruler of Dubai for creating a city full of opportunity and drive, a city I’m extremely proud to call home and to champion the incredible women who reside within it. Never before has it been more evident of how efficient, supportive and resilient UAE is than in the last 12 months.I would also like to thank Her Highness Sheikha Sana Al Maktoum for the honour of allowing us to present her as our cover star for this prestigious edition. Shooting the cover at sunrise with a backdrop of the outstanding Burj Khalifa was a moment that allowed us to capture a beautiful shoot Soft Power, but that also allowed us to share time with one of the most hard-working, inspiring and brave young women we’ve worked with to date.With special thanks to K, who supported to make this happen – your energy and intuition are incredible.This cover shoot was conducted prior to the passing of His Highness Sheikh Hamdan bin Rashid Al Maktoum, Deputy Ruler of Dubai and UAE Minister of Finance. The thoughts and respect of all involved are extended to his family.We partnered with Rolls -Royce in an exceptional shoot, Post Opulence where the small details are what creates perfection in the form of the new Rolls-Royce Ghost.We also have exclusive interviews with prominent Emirati businesswoman Muna Al Gurg in The Philanthropist, Alserkel Avenue’s Executive Director Vilma Jurkute in A Conscious Vision, Founder of Odeem, Fatma Al Otaiba in The Measure of Quality and Maryam & Muna Saeed, Co-Founders of Al Mraikn in Sister Act.Some of the most incredible women we know share how they practice gratitude in Stay Grateful and we interview Skin Laundry on their new tech approach to beauty in Grateful for Good Skin. Finally, The Wanderlust features an exceptional edit best spiritual retreats around the world.I’m reminded looking at this issue of one of my favourite quotes: “Small things make perfection, but perfection is not a small thing.” – Henry Royce, Founder of Rolls-Royce.I am grateful for a team that upholds this belief and strives to make the small things perfect on a daily basis.We as a team would also like to take this opportunity to wish all those practising – Ramadan Kareem for the month ahead.April’s – ‘The Gratitude Issue’ – Download Now – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and InstagramImages: Supplied More

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    The ultimate Mother’s Day gift guide

    With an occasion marked to celebrate the superwoman in your life – your mum – it’s important to shell out for something noteworthily while being on-trend on this special day.

    From jewellery with timeless elements to a chic accessory that she’ll treasure for life, the options are endless.
    As finding a gift that she might wholeheartedly appreciate can often be a daunting task, hence, it’s best to leave it to the experts who can help you narrow it down to some of the best choices that’s available out there.
    For the woman that gave you your start in this world, Emirates Woman has curated a list of luxurious gifts that she’s bound to love this Mother’s Day, which falls on March 21, 2021.

    Lil Fleur Wood Limited Edition Eau de Parfum 964 Byredo

    Gold-finish metal and white crystals petit brooch Dhs1,900 Dior

    Bia skin superfood Dhs205 Codex Beauty at

    Neopêche candle Dhs205 Boy Smells

    Point small leather tote Dhs8,450 Bottega Veneta

    ‘Leading the way’ candleholder POR Uttermost available at Interiors

    Fanfare Symphony diamond ring with Aquamarine Dhs27,000 Garrard

    PlusMinus vases Dhs350 at Fine Blooms Boutique

    Ravenna Watch Dhs2,400 Aigner

    Oversized D-frame acetate sunglasses Dhs1,524 Celine

    Large pomegranate footed centerpiece tray Dhs4,100 Michael Aram

    Nano Day Tote in grained leather Dhs8,400 Saint Laurent

    Gemstone facial massage roller Dhs202 Holistic Silk

    Velvet Oriental Musk Eau de Parfum 150ml Dhs1,515 Dolce & Gabbana Beauty

    Gustibus copper clad braiser & lid Dhs2,303 Ruffoni available on

    Go Logo 40 leather slingback pumps Dhs3,611 Valentino available on NET-A-PORTER

    Corrale Hair Straightener Dhs1,999 Dyson

    Honoré Delights Eau de Parfum 100ml Dhs1,337 Ex Nihilo

    Super radiance resurfacing facial Dhs285 Charlotte Tilbury

    Shards of Cedar & Red Thyme Parfum 50ml Dhs366 Jo Loves

    Light of my life necklace Dhs7,810 Salama Khalfan

    Anti-aging face cream Dhs410 Ixora

    Le Cube Diamant hoop earrings with white gold Dhs19,651 Dinh Van Paris

    The Chain Cassette Intrecciato-leather bag Dhs15,575 Bottega Veneta

    Bear facial toning device mini pearl pink Dhs892 Foreo

    Iconic link rose gold Dhs829 Daniel Wellington

    Renaissance Diamond Ring in 18kt Yellow Gold Dhs3,800 David Yurman available on

    Divas’ dream necklace Dhs7,700 Bvlgari

    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
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    Entrepreneur Natalia Shustova on bold expression through her ever-evolving style

    IN PARTNERSHIP: From being a bona fide UAE content creator to launching her unique floral concept Goshá late last year, daily dressing for Natalia Shustova – known as ‘Shoestova’ on Instagram – always seems to match her creative pursuits which constantly adapts according to her role.
    Over the years, from transitioning as a lawyer in the corporate world to streaming into a trend-focused sartorial theme, she emulates her free-spirited side through colourful elements which also evolves with her hobbies.

    Sharing her fashion journey as part of Charles & Keith’s SS21 campaign, Shustova expresses to Emirates Woman how what you wear gives a stronger impression than words. It’s about choosing the right clothes, accessories and shoes for people to understand you through your style.
    “Currently, the situation that we have with the pandemic and what we do in our daily lives has also been impacted, especially with what I wear every day,” she says.

    While transcending into a more casual element she adds, “It’s more comfortable, it’s more casual, it’s more about myself and what I’m doing right now more than trying to impress anyone.”

    As for spring-summer trends, her take on it is: “Bright bags in yellow and green will be one of my favourites. I also enjoy seeing powerful shoulders in dressing, especially when it’s done in monochrome with beautiful wraparounds in pastel shades, which are absolutely stunning when styled with crop tops or bra-lets.”
    Pairing the right accessories can elevate any look and Charles & Keith’s latest capsule highlights relaxed fluid shapes designed for everyday social settings, perfectly in-keeping with Shustova’s personal style.
    With Charles and Keith’s Spring summer collection representing a form of newness, Shustova loves the bright bags which are a prominent element in the accessories section. This limited edition range highlights the season’s must-haves through the saddlebag and eye-catching baguette bag with a signature buckle, as seen in the Patent Knotted Shoulder bag in red, Shustova effortlessly embodies this into her busy lifestyle as a businesswoman with its versatile nature.
    “I like how small and compact the bags are throughout the collection,” she says. “I adore the structured chains infused into some of the pieces, designed from plexiglass or with natural materials, it’s something which can be styled easily while adding that hint of playfulness to any look.”
    Designed for everyday wear, the footwear silhouettes from Charles & Keith’s latest SS21 collection represents a bold colour wheel for the modern woman.

    While combining pieces from the collection within her personal style, which has transformed into somewhat casual, she says, “One of my favourite trends right now is to wear sweatpants which is currently very, especially when paired with kitten heels, creating that high-low feel, which is exactly what I’m looking for.”
    As for embracing a strong personal style philosophy that has grown through the years, being herself is of utmost importance as it needs to be aligned with how you feel in the moment without also being afraid to accept change and experiment as the collection strongly portrays.
    “Find the way that works for you, find the clothes that work for your personal shape, for your height, for your age, for your hair colour and for what you do,” Shustova says.[embedded content]
    Shop the complete Charles & Keith SS21 collection here.
    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
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    Net-A-Porter announces an exciting new launch for customers in the Middle East

    Shopping on Net-A-Porter in the region is about to be taken to the next level.
    The leading luxury e-commerce platform is set to launch a new localised site for customers in the Middle East.

    Available on both web and app, the platform will feature all of the favourite brands across fashion, fine jewellery, beauty and more, which customers know and love and will also be available in both Arabic and English.
    The dual-language concept will encompass local editorial content and product curation.

    Nisreen Shocair, the CEO for YOOX Net-A-Porter Middle East, explained the new launch will enable the e-commerce platform to highlight the amazing talent from the region.
    “As the leading luxury platform, the launch of the localized Arabic site allows us to celebrate the unique beauty and talent of our community in the Middle East, bringing NET-A-PORTER even closer to its customers,” she said.
    “We will continue to realize exciting developments in future, including collaborations with local designers through to new personalised experiences supported by platform capabilities, to ensure we continue to offer best-in-class curation and service in the market.”
    Prices on the new localised website will be available in local currency, according to where you are based. Specialised personal shopping will also be available for customers in the region.

    – For more on luxury lifestyle, news, fashion and beauty follow Emirates Woman on Facebook and Instagram
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    International Women’s Day: 7 inspiring GCC-based fashion designers

    From fashion to accessories, female designers are taking the lead in the fashion industry.
    As we celebrate International Women’s Day today, Emirates Woman speaks to six noteworthy designers based around the GCC on how they’ve made their mark and how they wish to continually inspire the next generation of women as they occupy unique positions in the fashion industry.
    Lilian Afshar@lilianafshar

    The internationally celebrated brand – L’AFSHAR, founded by creative director Lilian Afshar has gained worldwide popularity due to its minimal impact on the environment while designing meticulously crafted bags.
    What inspired you to become a bag designer?

    The love to create with the business part just following.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    My mother who runs the business with me has been a working woman since the age of 18 and her experience has been key in the growth of the brand.
    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    Christine Centenera. I really admire her style, her work at a leading fashion magazine and her brand Wardrobe NYC.

    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    There’s a lot the fashion industry can do to empower women for example creating jobs, mentoring other designers while also building skills and knowledge.
    How do you show support to the women in your life?
    By being there for them emotionally, as I think it’s really important to constantly lift each other up.
    The message you would like to share this International Women’s Day?
    I’d like to share a poem by Rupi Kaur:
    “what’s the greatest lesson a woman should learn?”That since day one, she has already had everything she needs within herself. It’s the world that convinced her she did not.
    What do you hope to see change or progress for women in the next five years?
    Gender equality in the workplace. I’m happy to be living in a country that enforces equal pay but there are a lot of countries that still need to implement this.
    Safiya Abdallah@dulcebysafiya

    With chic modest fashion and tailored silhouettes for women to freely embrace themselves Dulce by Safiya was born.
    What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
    I was inspired by the world of fashion from a young age. My mom was a witness to the number of outfit changes I has per day. However, after wearing the hijab, I realised it was tricky to find the right clothing to express myself, especially with the limited options available in a shopping mall. I then began designing for myself, after which people around began to question my pieces and I was then convinced to start my own line.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    I’ve learned a lot through trial and error, more so than mentors. After hearing no a lot, more than I hear yes, I didn’t let this stop me from fulfilling my goals as I’m a firm believer that nothing and no one teaches me the same way experience can.
    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    I admire many designers in the industry, however, the first regional designer I took inspiration from was Faiza Bouguessa, as her brand was showcased in the first regional show I visited in 2017, when Dulce was still in its infancy and I immediately fell in love with her work.
    How do you balance your home and work life?
    Currently, it’s a lot less balanced since the pandemic as I’m trying to be more connected to my children more so with them growing up so quickly but expect some new Dulce dropping soon. It’s been a slow process since COVID, however, I’m enjoying the slow pace so much more.

    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    Women can be empowered through fashion by finding clothing that speaks to their soul. I know when I create something and the feedback I get is glowing it makes me proud and empowered by empowering another fellow female to feel great and look beautiful.
    The message you would like to share this International Women’s Day?
    Don’t be afraid to celebrate other women’s accomplishments. When I was younger I remember feeling alone and as though many people forgot me or just didn’t care to celebrate my accomplishments. When you find those rare gems of women who do celebrate you, don’t forget to appreciate them when they win! Remember God is good and never forgets those who can share positivity, love, and support!
    Arwa Al Banawi@arwaalbanawi

    Arwa Al Banawi proudly celebrates Saudi Arabia through her contemporary and edgy collections. Always looking ahead and creating for the next generation, her approach has not only hit the spot with the regional clients but also with the global fashion scene.
    What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
    I’ve wanted to be a designer since I was a little girl. I remember waiting for my mother in her dressing room, watching her get ready before she goes out, was fun for me as I played with her shoes and clothes. It was a dream of mine to make clothes for beautiful women to make them feel special when they would embrace by designs.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    My parents have mainly been my mentors. As my mother is an artist and a chef, she loves fashion and is an amazing stylist. She never goes wrong with all her style being inbuilt in her DNA. My father on the other hand is my mentor in business and entrepreneurship as he’s really my role model, while being an art and food connoisseur as he suits himself up in well-tailored clothes. My dad was my first teacher when it came to suiting, he knows the subject well and took me to many tailors in Italy to watch them in their charming ateliers. I travelled the world with my parents and became inspired with the more I saw and I also got inspired to always bridge east and west in my brand, it’s who I am.

    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    I admire a really special woman, Deena al Juhani Abdul Aziz, she was the first fashion icon to have come to my showroom in Paris and shown her support, You never forget the people who support you in your beginnings, I also really admire Firras from faux consultancy as he believed in my brand and I launched my debut under his agency consulting me the first few years and I’ll never forget those days those people that believe in what they saw in me cause in the beginning it’s always a rush of emotions and it’s scary but good scary of course and you are also discovering.
    How do you balance your home and work life?
    While being a hyper enthusiastic person by nature during the day along with being busy and also being relaxed on the end as I enjoy my cosy time with close friends and family. It’s important to set some personal time at least once a week and hustle on the other days as for me that’s my balance.
    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    The entire purpose of fashion is all about empowering women, there’s no segregation in the world when it comes to colour, figure, ethnicity as you open the pages as see a world filled with beauty from around the world with women from all walks of life as it’s all about their stories.
    The message you would like to share this International Women’s Day?
    I would say embrace your confidence, stop looking at other women you barely know and stop comparing yourself with them. Everyone has their own story. Before you turn 30, work on yourself as your 20s are about knowing yourself and your 30s are about applying that and sticking by it. It’s important to have your own set of principles, which differentiate you from the crowd in order to build a strong foundation with your core values as there’s nothing more attractive than confidence and nothing more inspiring than a gracefully intelligent woman.
    Huda Al Nuaimi@nuaimi_collective

    Huda Al Nuaimi is a luxury ready to wear and accessories label embracing change with each and every collection.
    What inspired you to become a fashion and accessories designer?
    My mother was a print designer for Liberties and while living with her in London, I grew up watching her go through endless fashion magazines, creating patterns and hand-drawn prints. Initially, I never understood her fascination, however, as I grew, I learned a lot from her and grew a passion for it. Despite getting a degree in fashion, watching her gave me the ability to become a cross border designer which means one who specializes in fashion, accessories and print.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    As design students, you focus a lot on showcasing your creative ability, which is sometimes unwearable. My teachers at London College of Fashion (LCF) are considered my mentors as looking back now I realise how relevant their advice actually was, especially as they taught me to balance design and wearability in the real world.
    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    I admire many as fashion reinvents itself constantly with the times and I believe everyone adds value in their own way, therefore I could not put my finger on one, as it can be the creativity of young designers or the know-how of the established designers.

    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    Fashion empowers women in many ways as it is the way you dress and present yourself, therefore fashion is a mode of communication to the world.
    How do you show support to the women in your life?
    I love to teach the new generation my know-how and experience, through intern programs and hope they can use it to be great designers.
    What do you hope to see change or progress for women in the next five years?
    There is room for everybody in the industry, every designer has their time to shine therefore it is vital to celebrate, respect, learn and support each other’s achievements to see the industry move forward.
    Haya Jarrar@Romani.official

    Our December cover star has her own brand Romani, where she embraces an element of 1960s-inspired vintage flair in each piece.
    What inspired you to be a fashion designer?
    It wasn’t something specific that inspired me to become a designer, it was something in me since a young age. However, a lot of things inspire me while I am creating.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    I went through the journey of learning things with ROMANI on my own – and it’s a beautiful journey to go through. It is such an empowering thing to experience because when you go through it on your own, you realize that what you need in life in yourself and your own story when it comes to success.

    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    I admire any person in the fashion industry that managed to make art while staying true to themselves.
    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    It’s more than fashion empowering women, it’s giving them the tools that will allow them to express themselves in a way that is comfortable for them and let their personalities shine.
    How do you show support to the women in your life?
    I praise the women in my life and encourage them a lot. I also love reminding them of their worth and their assets. You can’t imagine the power of a positive word.
    The message you would like to share this International Women’s Day?
    There is a lot of pressure on women nowadays. From perfect skin to perfect hair and bodies and also perfect motherhood and success, which is all portrayed on social media. These things don’t actually exist in real life and demotivate women. So now, more than ever, we need to support one another; the women in your life and even the ones you don’t know. Whether supporting them morally, emotionally, or physically. We need to support them personally and in business as well.
    What do you hope to see change or progress for women in the next five years?
    For women to be able to dress the way they want, speak the way they want, and portray themselves the way they want without fear of being judged.
    Dima Ayad@dimaayad

    Dubai-based Lebanese designer Dima Ayad has created pieces where you can expect a  multi-functional wardrobe brimming with timeless elegance.
    What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
    I would say, I inspired myself as I struggled to find clothes that would fit me every time I thought of a beach day or a gala dinner as I would panic instead of getting excited, mainly because nothing fit. With no such clothes insight.  Being on the healthy side, I rarely found pieces in the 18 – 20s range, hence, I started designing my own clothes and everyone would ask me where they were from, so I then dabbled with my own label and Voila Dima Ayad became a size-inclusive label.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    My mentors were always game-changers who never stood for the status quo. Women like Ashley Graham, designers like Rabih Kayrouz, Albert Elbaz, and really unique individuals such as Piccioli. In addition, my mother most certainly who drove me.
    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    Stella McCartney, Piccioli from Valentino and Albert Elbaz from his time at Lanvin.
    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    To make women feel a sense of belonging. As there’s a strong sense of this when one feels that can be themselves in anything. In fashion, inclusivity shouldn’t just mean a runway moment for the standard beauty norms. It should mean that these sizes are available in stores and you do not need to hunt for them, making them not just available online. That all shapes and sizes of women are embraced, that fashion is thought of with all sizes in mind, and not just following a size graduation grid.

    How do you show support to the women in your life?
    You do so by being there for them, listening and by also setting an example for however many women follow me. It’s always a struggle to find a plus-sized model for my shoots, but I insist on it every time as I want the women in my life to see and feel where they belong, while they envision themselves in one of my pieces by seeing themselves in it.
    The message you would like to share this International Women’s Day?
    Women supporting women is a phrase commonly used but rarely applied. To really support women is to stand up and knowing that doing so doesn’t take away from you as a woman. If you don’t like the direction your life is heading into, stand up and challenge to change it.
    What do you hope to see change or progress for women in the next five years?
    I hope we stop focusing on the first women achieving particular accomplishments and rewarding female achievements to simply achievements. It’s important to start thinking that we are in fact equal and moving in that direction. I really hope to see women really supporting each other – not just during the month of March, but all the way through.
    Faiza Bouguessa

    What inspired you to become a fashion designer?
    Aside from being surrounded by women in my family that introduced me to the world of fashion very early, I was always very sensitive to all sorts of arts as a child and I learned from my grandmother how to sew and knit from a very early age. My mother started buying me fashion magazines quite early in my teen years, I guess that she sensed a strong interest in me. I used to go through them over and over again. Growing up in France also had its impact as Fashion is an important part of the culture of the Country.
    Who have been your mentors throughout your career?
    Rolland Mouret has been a great mentor to me.He once told me: “Your freedom starts where somebody else’s stopped”. It was resonating a lot for me at that time as I was wondering if I had taken the right decision to work on Modest wear.
    Whom do you admire in the fashion industry?
    Coco Chanel! I admire the way this little woman influenced ALL women from her era. She was dedicated in making them feel comfortable in what they wore. She created the timeless trend of all times.Apart from her, Stella McCartney for the way she has managed to build an amazing brand and her approach to sustainability. Victoria Beckham because of the great businesswoman she has become and she really has defined a strong brand identity over the past years, and Karl Lagerfeld because I loved his personality and consistent success.
    How do you balance your home and work life?
    I think the best way to create balance in your life is to split your day in 3 times 8 hours. 8 hours of sleep, 8 hours of work and 8 hours of personal life.
    How do you think women can be empowered through the world of fashion?
    I like to think that fashion inspires and elevate the confidence of the women. In order for women to feel empowered, liberated by fashion they need to have the influence that fashion can be anything you want it to be and that way it will be something to celebrate.

    Any message you would like to share with the women out there on this International Women’s Day?
    Know what you want to achieve, believe you can achieve it, and work night and day to achieve it. Do it with integrity and don’t forget to give back to others.
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