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.”

 


‘I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch,’ Gigi Hadid says

Updated 18 November 2018
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‘I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch,’ Gigi Hadid says

DUBAI: Model-of-the-moment Gigi Hadid took to the stage at an event in Sydney last week to defend her heritage and express her “respect” for her Arab roots.
The 23-year-old model, whose father is Palestinian and mother is Dutch, made the fiery statement during a promotional appearance for Reebok’s “Be More Human” campaign.
“When I shot the cover of Vogue Arabia, I wasn’t ‘Arab enough’ to be representing those girls, even though I’m half-Palestinian,” Hadid told the crowd of her March 2017 cover for the magazine, according to Yahoo. “I’m as Palestinian as I am Dutch. Just because I have blonde hair, I still carry the value of my ancestors and I appreciate and respect that.”

The model also touched on her much-reported-on relationship with British singer Zayn Malik, saying the pair had discussed her background in the past.
“I was taking about this to my boyfriend too, he is half-Pakistani and half-English,” she said, according to the Daily Mail. “And there’s always this thing where you’re mixed race or you come from two different worlds. You see how both sides treat each other. And you become a bridge between both sides.”
Gigi isn’t the only Hadid sibling to talk publicly about the family’s roots.
In April 2017, her sister Bella opened up about their Palestinian father’s immigration experience and her embrace of Islam in an interview with Porter magazine.
The siblings’ father, Mohamed Hadid, lived in Syria and Lebanon before he moved to the US in his teens.
“My dad was a refugee when he first came to America,” Bella said in the interview.
“He was always religious and he always prayed with us. I am proud to be a Muslim,” she added.
In her latest appearance in Sydney, older sister Gigi also touched on the pressures of the competitive fashion industry.
“Regardless of who you are, or what you do, you always are allowed to give yourself room to screw up and learn and grow,” she said. “I’m a human and someone that can make mistakes,” she said. “But I can still learn and grow and be better.”