Dima Ayad: My designs speak for themselves

Rima Al-Mukhtar [email protected]

Published — Wednesday 19 September 2012

Last update 21 September 2012 10:39 pm

| نسخة PDF Print News | A A

Dima Ayad is a young Lebanese fashion designer who established her fashion brand in 2010. The designer is now based in Dubai and her clothes have been featured in local and international press such as ELLE Arabia, Grazia Middle East, OK!, Hello and Ahlan magazine.
Her Autumn Winter 2011 collection was shown off-schedule at London Fashion Week, which lead to her nomination as Best Regional Designer at the Grazia Middle East Style Awards 2011, designing a capsule (low-priced) prom collection for Saks Fifth Avenue and a Ramadan abaya collection for Harvey Nichols Dubai.

Who is Dima Ayad?
I’m a dreamer, passionate, love life, constantly laughing, have random ideas, very spontaneous, no two days are the same, embraces challenges.

What was it about fashion design that first attracted you to this medium?
I couldn’t find clothes that suited me so opted to create my own. Then grew the knowledge of the female figure and how to enhance its appearance in clothes, no matter what shape or size.

Describe your first piece of serious fashion that you designed and constructed. What did you think about it when you first made it? What do you think about it now?
I love this question. I designed a line for Greek goddesses, very flowy, matt gold, some ivory, a hint of royal blue. Honestly, I still love it, but looking back I would’ve constructed it differently and used a few different fabrics.

How do you balance between your day job as a marketing director and your own fashion-designing job?
They both support each other. One side is more strategic and the other is mostly creative, which gives me a great balance.
Marketing is at the core of what we do. If you know your customer, you can do anything. I learn so much about the women who wear my dresses everyday by the alterations they make, or what sells the fastest, and the age bracket of women wearing the line. The marketing know-how is key!

Why did you choose to start your fashion career in Dubai?
Dubai is home, and I wanted to start making it at home. My test feeder market is Dubai.

How do you intend your client to feel when wearing your designs?
I’m euphoric, delirious; the feeling of falling in love comes close.

What inspires you when designing a new line?
Inspiration really comes from everywhere and I love how it does. It could be a dry spell for weeks and then one sleepless night – boom. Or I spot a fabric I’m in love with. I just buy it and play with it on the mannequin and then the juices flow.

How many collections have you done by now?
I’m on my sixth!

Tell us a little about each collection? And how do you name them?
The first one was very literal – today’s interpretation of a Greek goddess. My adoration for one shoulder was very evident. My autumn/winter collection was about rebelliousness – very metallic and quite daring. My Vivian jacket caused a stir.
For the capsule prom collection for Saks Fifth Avenue, my theme was nostalgia. I thought of when my mother’s closet had only a few tempting pieces when I turned 16. That made me remember how much I wanted to grow older. I was 16 going on 21, and so were those teens that loved my prom dresses!
I designed kaftans for Harvey Nichols Dubai, in anything but black with a twist of a print or one color throughout.
The spring/summer collection 2012 is about butterflies, and everything about them. Having butterflies, feeling like floating, and their stunning symmetry.

How would you describe your style of fashion and your designs?
Simple, with a twist. Effortless. Let the piece speak for itself.

How far in advance do you work on your collections and what is the process?
Usually is work three to four months in advance and sometimes even shorter. It’s either the idea first or the fabric, or both. I start off with 50 sketches, 50 patterns, 50 dresses and then shrink to 25-30, which I then shrink to 25.
Color variations start to form and then we shoot the collection. Buyer meetings are followed by orders and I need around two months for production.

Do you think having great sewing skills is important in fashion design? What other skills would you need?
I think it’s important to understand how you want the piece perfected and if it isn’t working and you still love it, to explain how to make it the way you want it. So yes, some know-how is key.
Mostly, follow your gut. If you drew it and it evidently doesn’t appeal to you, delete it. After you work on a collection for so long you can’t see it anymore!

What are you working on now?
For my spring/summer 2013 collection lollipops come to mind.

Tell us about your experience in London fashion week.
Unforgettable, a true out-of-body experience as if I was watching a movie of things happening around me.
Nerves, nerves, nerves, ensuring models getting ready on time, it’s cold and raining and last minute things that need perfection, and walking down that catwalk… couldn’t feel my legs, but that roar of applause – I can still hear it.

What materials and fabrics do you like to use in your designs?
This list continues to grow, but my favorites are silk jersey, tulle, crepe de chine, grosgrain and I’m in love with pleating!

What do you think are your strengths and weaknesses in the art of fashion?
Strengths: understanding the female figure and ensuring the collection suits every shape and size.
Weakness: not having that many collections under my belt, and not being exposed to any fashion mentors to date that can help pave the way of enhancements. Long live books and magazines and online interviews.

Do you try to send out a message or theme in your design? If so, what is it?
I always say that design comes from within, but the main message really is please wear what suits you. Not everyone looks good in everything, and that’s ok.

What makes your designs special?
That they speak for themselves somehow. You know it’s a Dima Ayad, and it makes you feel amazing.
Ayad is looking forward to expanding on the global market and hopes to include a line of bathing suits in her collection.
Dima Ayad’s spring-summer 2012 is stocked in S*uce boutique in Dubai and is available to order by e-mailing [email protected]


What's happening around Saudi Arabia

RIYADH: Security forces have arrested a Syrian man accused of plotting attacks and his Filipino accomplice in a raid on an illegal explosives factory in Riyadh, the Interior Ministry said, according to SPA.The Saudi Press Agency reported Saturday tha...
JEDDAH: Cyber security experts and researchers have confirmed that they have received many requests for help in dealing with extortion and blackmail.The cases were so serious that some of the young men had tried to commit suicide.Mohammed Al-Sariei,...
JEDDAH: For many sanitary workers, the Islamic greeting has become a way to tug at people’s hearts. The greeting is made in hopes of receiving a couple of riyals in exchange for cleaning the streets.Standing at traffic lights with their brooms, their...
JEDDAH: The streets of Mina are still unclean and littered with trash despite the fact that it has been seven days since the pilgrims departed.The Makkah municipality has warned pilgrim establishments not to dump their waste and has threatened them w...
JEDDAH: Camel owners are accusing “hidden hands” behind the campaign against camels, which has led to the deterioration of the animal market and deeply impacted their prices, alleging that government agencies are mainly supporting these parties.Owner...
JEDDAH: The Ministry of Labor created 1.5 million jobs for young Saudi men and women in 2014, a six percent rise from the previous year.This is according to Labor Minister Mofarrej Al-Haqbani, who said the ministry has been working on several measure...
DAMMAM: The Dammam chapter of the Indian Engineers Forum (IEF) recently celebrated 48th Annual Engineers Day.“The say is celebrated every year in India as Engineer’s Day to commemorate the birthday of the legendary engineer, Sir Mokshagundam Visvesva...
DAMMAM: Rumors are nearly as old as human history, but with the rise of the Internet, they have become ubiquitous. False rumors are especially troublesome; they impose real damage on individuals and institutions, and they are often used by enemies to...
RIYADH: The Education Ministry organized the National Unity Forum under the sponsorship of Jazan Gov. Prince Mohammed bin Nasser.“The forum engendered loyalty to the Kingdom and the Saudi leadership among the employees of the ministry,” Education Min...
JEDDAH: The bodies of the Mina stampede are being buried in separate graves after giving a bath and offering funeral prayers, the National Society for Human Rights (NSHR) of Makkah has said.“The bodies are not being buried in mass graves. They are be...
RIYADH: King Saud Medical City (KSMC) launched a campaign recently to thank the country’s security officers for keeping the country safe. “The campaign was launched as a way to express our gratitude to all the security officers who are serving the na...
RIYADH: The traffic department in the capital launched a campaign against badly maintained automobiles as part of its drive to limit accidents and control pollution, and seized 1,915 vehicles.The department said that 1,015 vehicles were seized for no...
AL-AHSA: The beautiful terrain and historical caves at the Al-Qara Mountain in Al-Ahsa beckoned citizens as well as expatriates during the Eid Al-Adha holidays.The mountain and its surroundings, including the oasis of palms, turned into a beehive of...
JEDDAH: The Foreign Ministers of Organization of Islamic Cooperation (OIC) member states recently condemned Israeli violations in Palestinian territories, calling the actions a violation of international law.The ministers passed a resolution confirmi...
RIYADH: Several subscribers of Saudi Electricity Company (SEC) in the northern part of the Saudi capital have complained that the company’s services went down for more than 11 hours earlier this week.An online publication reported that the services w...

Stay Connected