SemSem’s Ramadan line has a charitable twist

US-Somali model Halima Aden has worked with SemSem in the past. (Supplied)
Updated 22 May 2018
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SemSem’s Ramadan line has a charitable twist

LONDON: 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 the SemSem’s mission. It’s a perfect conversation — and the perfect conversation-provoking ensembles— to have this Ramadan season.


Paul McCartney teases ‘Egypt Station’

The rock legend on social media released a video of the Pyramids and palm trees swaying in the wind. (Shutterstock)
Updated 15 min 28 sec ago
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Paul McCartney teases ‘Egypt Station’

  • McCartney and his label did not provide further details but speculation immediately grew that he was ready with his next album, which would be his first of new material since 2013.

NEW YORK: Paul McCartney on Monday teased news of “Egypt Station” — presumed to be the title of his next album — as the former Beatle celebrated his 76th birthday.

The rock legend on social media released a video of the Pyramids and palm trees swaying in the wind on a sand-colored background set to snippet of ambient music mixed with vehicular traffic.

McCartney and his label did not provide further details but speculation immediately grew that he was ready with his next album, which would be his first of new material since 2013.

While McCartney is more known for an interest in India than Egypt, a 1999 painting by the musician and artist was entitled “Egypt Station” and depicted sunflowers and animals under a blue sky. McCartney, who toyed with retirement following the end of The Beatles more than 40 years ago, has shown a burst of energy as a septuagenarian and toured the world for much of 2016 and 2017.