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.


Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

Updated 19 March 2019
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Nora Attal has her day in the sun in Marrakesh

DUBAI: British-Moroccan model Nora Attal posed up a storm in Marrakesh’s golden sunlight for a new campaign by fashion brand Zara.

The in-demand model shared snaps from the campaign, photographed by Christian Macdonald, on her Instagram account.

The collection of photographs show Attal modelling looks from Zara’s laid-back Spring/Summer 2019 collection against a backdrop of rippling sand dunes. Her featured ensembled include kaftans and long-length cardigans with hefty stripes in a clay-and-beige color palette.

Attal is no stranger to fronting campaigns — in January, the model was chosen as one of seven rising stars to feature in British fashion house Alexander McQueen’s latest campaign.

The Spring/Summer 2019 collection photoshoot was shot by British fashion and documentary photographer Jamie Hawkesworth and featured Attal wearing a number of cowboy-inspired looks.

The year has gotten off to a busy start for Attal, who was similarly in demand in 2018, when she took to the catwalk for Elie Saab, Loewe and Dior during Paris Fashion Week in September and starred in Italian fashion label Versace’s summer advert campaign.

In May, luxury e-retailer Farfetch launched in the Middle East with a little help from the young model.

She starred in a photoshoot wearing pieces from collections on sale on the platform. The colorful photographs were accompanied by a snappy, chatty interview with the young model.
Readers got the chance to gain insight into her earliest fashion memories and learn some off-the-cuff facts about the star.

“Recently I’ve been obsessed with noughties trends. Everyone was so cool and effortless back then. Now I go out in a full Juicy Couture tracksuit with no shame,” she told Farfetch at the time.

“If I wasn’t a model, I’d probably be at university, studying to get into something like criminal investigations, profiling or law,” she added.

Attal finished off 2018 by hitting the sand dunes in the UAE — however, this time it wasn’t part of a high-end photoshoot, but rather a day of fun.

The model enjoyed an afternoon of sandboarding in the emirate of Sharjah and even posted a snap on Instagram at the time.

“Apparently sandboarding is a thing,” she captioned the sunset shot.