Push the envelope with the Saidi sisters’ modest fashion marvels

This velvet evening look is part of the sisters’ 2018 Cruise collection.
Updated 07 June 2018
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Push the envelope with the Saidi sisters’ modest fashion marvels

  • The Somali-American sisters behind modest wear brand FLLUMAE are doing big things in the world of fashion.
  • The Saidi sisters unveiled their 2018 Cruise collection at the sixth edition of Arab Fashion Week (AFW) in Dubai, which took place just before the holy month, and it’s perfect for elegant evenings out with the family.

If you’re running out of sartorial options for Eid Al-Fitr, having exhausted the extensive list of Middle East-based designers over the course of Ramadan, why not turn your attention further afield?

Based in Louisville, Kentucky, the Somali-American sisters behind modest wear brand FLLUMAE are doing big things in the world of fashion and could offer you up something fresh — and unexpected — to wear to the inevitable onslaught of gatherings that will take place over the festive period.

The Saidi sisters unveiled their 2018 Cruise collection at the sixth edition of Arab Fashion Week (AFW) in Dubai, which took place just before the holy month, and it’s perfect for elegant evenings out with the family.

The collection features a mish-mash of colors, prints and fabrics, with the brand’s iconic petal embellishments visible on most of the dresses, suits and blazers.

If you prefer to be pretty in pink, the line offers up an almost-metallic, satin-esque baby pink dress, cinched at the waist with a matching belt and embellished with delicate peach and ebony flowers on the right hip and left shoulder. It will take courage to wear this look, there’s nothing sedate about it, but if you can pull it off, you’ll be sure to turn heads.

A slightly more demure option would be the full-length black velvet dress with petal accents running up the side of the bodice. The designers added extra oomph with a billowing, collared cape, complete with embellishments on the shoulder. It has to be said that the fit left much to be desired on the model who wore this look on the runway, but ensuring you choose the right size should combat any ripples in the fabric.

The sisters founded FLLUMAE in February 2014 and within a year-and-a-half were showing off their designs at the pinnacle of all things fashion – New York Fashion Week (NYFW).

“It happened so quickly, I thought it would take five to seven years to get to the level of presenting at NYFW, but it was a year-and-a-half and we were there,” Fahima Saidi, one of the four sisters behind the brand, told Arab News on the sidelines of AFW in May.  

FLLUMAE started out as a bid to tackle the lack of modest fashion at the time.

“When we were growing up, if we liked a dress we would be like ‘oh my god, I love this dress, but it doesn’t have any sleeves,’ so we would take it home and sew some sleeves on there,” Saidi said.  

 “Finally, we decided to commit and we took a big risk, we all left our professions to work on this business as designers,” she said.

“It is high, mainstream fashion and it caters to women of faith — and not just women of faith, but any woman. You don’t have to be a woman of faith to wear our clothing.

“If you are a modest-clothing wearer, it’s a plus because this line gives you stuff to wear that is fully lined and (you can be) fully-dressed in a comfortable way,” the designer concluded.

Visit the brand’s social media pages — facebook.com/fllumae and @fllumae on Instagram — to browse the collection and enquire about pricing and delivery options.


Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

Updated 13 November 2018
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Arab style stars front new Michael Kors campaign

  • Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the Michael Kors campaign
  • The special-edition Whitney bag will be unveiled on Nov. 14

DUBAI: Fashion powerhouse Michael Kors (MK) has enlisted the region’s style icons to unveil an exclusive Middle East design of a limited-edition shoulder bag.

Lebanese beauty queen and model Jessica Kahawaty takes the lead in the elite portrait series showcasing a special-edition of the Whitney bag, set to be unveiled at an exclusive event in Dubai on Nov. 14.

The beauty queen took to Instagram to announce the stint, where she posted a picture of herself along with other Arab fashion icons strutting the newly redesigned Whitney bag, including Dubai-based influencer Leena Al Ghouti, fashion blogger Ola Faharat, and filmmaker Lana Al Beik..

“So honored to be fronting this @michaelkors campaign for their new Whitney bag. My MK family is here in Dubai all the way from New York for the celebration this week and I couldn’t think of more powerful ladies to share this photograph with,” Kahawaty wrote.

Dubbed as the Whitney, the compact bag is one of the newest additions to the fashion label’s exclusive accessory collection. The bag is crafted in panel-quilted lambskin, accompanied by a sleek chain strap.

“We were able to incorporate a very subtle M-shaped outline, something I’ve been sketching since I was in middle school,” American designer Michael Kors himself said.

The Middle East edition will be released in a rich blue, which Kors described as “the perfect blend of sophistication and luxury for our customers” in the region.

Kors has expressed how the Middle East is an important region for his fashion label, saying “our customers in the Middle East truly love fashion and glamour, which makes it a fun and exciting place to be as a designer.”

MK, widely known for its premium leather handbags, recently bought luxury designer Versace for $2.05 billion, bolstering its position against its larger European rivals.

“With the acquisition of Versace we have created one of the world’s leading fashion and luxury groups,” said John Idol, chairman and CEO of Michael Kors Holdings.

This came a year after it also acquired British stiletto-heel maker Jimmy Choo for $1.2 billion.