UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

Amena Khan made headlines earlier this year when she stepped down from a L’Oreal campaign due to tweets she posted in 2014. (@amenaofficial)
Updated 03 March 2018
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UK blogger Amena Khan joins viral campaign celebrating strong women

DUBAI: Hijab-wearing British fashion blogger Amena Khan is taking part in a campaign celebrating women with The Body Shop, she announced on her Instagram page on Friday.
Dubbed the #FORSTRONGWOMEN campaign, the drive encourages women to nominate a women who has “guided, empowered and inspired” them by uploading a picture and a brief description of the nominee to The Body Shop’s website. Nominations end on March 11 and the lucky winners will receive a weekend break away and beauty hampers.
The Muslim beauty blogger is taking part in the campaign and nominated make-up artist Paula Durance in a heart-warming video sponsored by The Body Shop.
Leicester-based make-up specialist Durance overcame a childhood of bullying over her hearing disability to build her own business.
In the video spotlighting Durance and her achievements, Khan explains why she is taking part in the campaign.
“This Mother’s Day, I’m working with The Body Shop to celebrate all the strong women who have inspired us.”
Of Durance, she said: “She’s positive, supportive, fierce and fabulous.”
“Having strong, supportive, authentic friends in your circle is a blessing. Today I’m celebrating strong women everywhere with @thebodyshop,” she added on her Instagram page, before encouraging other women to upload their own nominations.
Khan made headlines earlier this year when she became the first woman wearing a headscarf to feature in a major mainstream hair campaign for L’Oreal.
However, controversy ensued when just a couple of days after the announcement Khan stepped down due to anti-Israel tweets she made in 2014 during the Israel-Gaza conflict.
Taking to Instagram Jan. 21, the British beauty blogger said: “I deeply regret the content of the tweets I made in 2014, and sincerely apologize for the upset and hurt they have caused.

Making a reference to the L’Oreal campaign, she added: “I recently took part in a campaign, which excited me because it celebrated inclusivity.

“With deep regret, I’ve decided to step down from this campaign because the current conversations surrounding it detract from the positive and inclusive sentiment it set out to deliver.”


From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

A gown designed by Cabochon’s Fidda Al-Marzouqi.(Supplied)
Updated 18 October 2018
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From genetics to fashion design, glamor is in Fidda Al-Marzouqi’s genes

  • Fidda Al-Marzouqi talks about her label Cabochon
  • The label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks

DUBAI: She may have studied genetics and public health, but Fidda Al-Marzouqi has found success in a decidedly more creative field in her home town of Abu Dhabi.

The designer and founder of fashion atelier Cabochon spoke to Arab News about her personal style and the challenges she faced while making the transition to the studio.

“I’ve always loved anything to do with design and I’ve also always loved fashion, dressing myself up,” she said, explaining why she chose to test the waters of sartorial design while maintaining her day job as a senior health officer.

“A lot of people would always ask for my advice on how to style a certain look and my friends encouraged that, because I have natural flair — it’s not something I studied — I should pursue it.”

So, Al-Marzouqi hired a team of master cutters, tailors and hand embroiders and set up the brand Cabochon in 2016.

Named after a gemstone that has been shaped and polished as opposed to faceted, the label is known for its elegant evening gowns and fitted looks.

“It’s all about femininity. I love history, I love all aspects of design, traveling inspires me,” Al-Marzouqi said of her creative process.

However, inspiration and a knack for design will only take you so far in a notoriously competitive industry.

“If you have natural flair at designing or creating a look, there’s the other technical stuff that you’re not aware of like running a team of staff, the facts and figures — that was the challenging part,” the designer said, referring to the obstacles she has faced on her journey so far.

But she learnt the ropes and now oversees all aspects of research, design and production and is particularly keen to ensure the women she dresses have the “full Cabochon experience,” including “the attention, the care (and) the fit.

“I create and I design, but obviously every woman has a certain style so you respect the personality that comes in — her style, the shape of her body, her attitude, what she likes and, accordingly, you get inspired as a designer.”