SemSem’s Ramadan line has a charitable twist

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Updated 22 May 2018
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SemSem’s Ramadan line has a charitable twist

Famed French fashion designer Yves Saint Laurent once said that the city of Marrakesh taught him color. It seems that the Moroccan city has struck again, serving as the inspiration for SemSem’s bold Ramadan line this season.

With its mélange of cultural currents and cosmopolitan charge, the bustle of Marrakesh is manifest in SemSem’s red-based collection. A brassy fire-engine trench and gilded-blush maxi are among the highlights of the edit, available exclusively at luxury e-tailers The Modist and Ounass.

For those seeking bold, iftar-appropriate looks this season, SemSem’s berry-red jumpsuit or high-low hemmed jacquard top are both beautiful, souk-inspired statement pieces.  Floral prints appearing throughout the collection recall the Majorelle garden, Saint Laurent’s lush Marrakesh property. 

Separates, including tailored pants befitting the refined city-stroller, can be paired with the collection’s pleated tops or layered for dramatic effect. 

Self-consciously eschewing derivatives of slouched kaftans, the pieces all feature refined, structured cuts. True to the brand’s aesthetic, SemSem’s Ramadan collection is an unabashed ode to modern, metropolitan femininity.

 Founder Abeer Al-Otaiba, who originally hails from Egypt, says this year’s Ramadan edit was “deeply personal.

“I wanted it to be beautiful, impactful and reflective of my heritage,” Al-Otaiba said.  “I enjoy the sense of purpose Ramadan represents and I try to embrace all that it has to offer. Creating this collection is an extension of this time of introspection and celebration.”

A dedicated philanthropist with a degree in civil engineering and stints spent living across the Middle East, Europe and America, Al-Otaiba created SemSem in 2015 as a way to celebrate women and children across the globe. Bestowing the label with her daughter’s nickname, Al-Otaiba’s vision has allowed SemSem to mature in a few short years, emerging at the forefront of the luxury, ready-to-wear market.

With lines for both women and girls, the brand has become a favorite of multi-tasking mothers seeking balance and an elegant wardrobe with a charitable sense of purpose. Every season, Al-Otaiba teams up with a non-profit promoting the well-being of women and children. 

This year, 10 percent of the sales from the brand’s Ramadan collection sold at Ounass will go to causes supported by the Dubai Cares charity.

Previously, Al-Otaiba sought to raise awareness about maternal mortality rates and youth illiteracy, supporting organizations working across Africa to empower women and children. 

Insisting on the confluence of doing good and dressing well, SemSem has become a celebrity favorite, worn by conscientious Hollywood moms like Blake Lively and Kourtney Kardashian. 

Showing at Paris Fashion Week and regularly written up in Vogue, SemSem has brought a jet-set chic to mother-daughter wear. 

But the line’s ethos isn’t about red-carpet glitter. Encouraging mothers to instill a sense of global awareness and dedication to philanthropy in their daughters lies at the heart of SemSem’s mission. It’s a perfect conversation — and the perfect conversation-provoking ensembles— to have this Ramadan season.


Bella Hadid ‘unrecognizable’ in Versace campaign

Updated 14 August 2018
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Bella Hadid ‘unrecognizable’ in Versace campaign

LONDON: Supermodel Bella Hadid just dropped an image from a new campaign for Versace. Fans were quick to note the 21-year-old American-Palestinian model “looked different” in the image, with some suggesting an uncanny resemblance to sister Gigi Hadid in the campaign.
“I thought you were @gigihadid for a second,” wrote @weirdosdelrey.
“She doesn’t look like herself!! Too much editing,” added @tala_fuqaha.
“You’re almost unrecognizable,”@_abhipsha__ said.
The image shared on social media features Bella flanked by two other models. It is actually part of the Italian fashion house’s longest-ever advertising image featuring 54 models, including sister Gigi, standing side by side. The Versace fall-winter campaign “symbolizes inclusivity, a key value for artistic director @Donatella_Versace and her vision for the brand.”
The campaign, hashtagged #TheClansOfVersace, is “a true representation of clans that embody everything Versace stands for — diversity expressed together with innovation in the fearless representation of what it means to be daring.”
Bella, whose real name is Isabella Khair Hadid, is dressed in the brand’s yellow and blue layered skirt paired with a matching scarf and white T-shirt.
“I couldn’t tell you how much I love the @versace family and how happy I am to be a part of this campaign. Thank you to my forever idols #StevenMeisel & @donatella_versace… Love!!!!” Bella wrote alongside the image.
Donatella, the vice president of Versace Group, was quick to return the love. “We love you too,” she wrote in the comments section.
In a video posted on Instagram recently, the Hadid sisters and Kaia Gerber joined Versace to reveal the correct pronunciation of the luxury brand’s name. Rather than “Versa-chay,” the models speak one after the other in the clip to point out the label is actually pronounced: “Versa-chee.”
Meanwhile, Bella recently put an end to months of speculation regarding the status of her relationship with The Weeknd when the on-off couple were spotted attending Kylie Jenner’s 21st birthday party together. A source told US Weekly that the duo is “great and happy together now.”
Bella and the “Call Out My Name” singer, 28, previously dated for nearly two years before splitting in November 2016. They began to fuel relationship rumors again when they were seen together at the Coachella Valley Music and Arts Festival in April.