Meet Bazza Alzouman, who designs red-carpet fashion for real women

Kuwait-based label has been worn by Maya Diab, Mai Omar and Huda Kuttan. (Supplied)
Updated 06 August 2019

Meet Bazza Alzouman, who designs red-carpet fashion for real women

DUBAI: Kuwait-based Bazza Alzouman, who designs red-carpet evening wear for real women, is a designer every Arab fashion girl should have her eyes on. She started her eponymous label in 2014 and has completed three trunk shows with Moda Operandi, the online luxury retailer known for discovering new labels. 

Alzouman has dressed Maya Diab, Mai Omar and Huda Kuttan, who have very different body types yet were able to find a red-carpet dress that works for them.

“It's so important to me that evening wear is wearable,” the designer said. “I always design with the client in mind and consider their comfort just as much as I consider the actual design. Clothes are meant to be worn by real people, and inclusivity … is really a core value of ours.” 

Alzouman finds clever ways to flatter – be it through illusion sleeves, ruching around the tummy area or the clever placement of a ruffle. Born in South Carolina, the 35-year-old Alzouman worked for the New York-based evening wear designer Naeem Khan before starting her studio in Kuwait City’s Shamiya. 

It’s the combination of these two cultures that has resulted in her signature style. “I think the colors and simplicity and minimalism comes from my US background in design and the time I spent there growing up,” the designer explained. “The experimenting and asymmetry and volume have a lot to do with my Arab side.”

Her Fall/Winter 2019 collection will soon be available in Riyadh’s Blank Boutique and directly through her showroom in Kuwait City. The 27-piece collection includes floor-grazing dresses that flare out with dramatic tulle trains. And every piece uses the finest of fabrics, be it silk, crepe, chiffon or tulle. “The fabrics are all sourced international, primarily from New York, Paris, and Italy,” Alzouman said. 

Despite this, it is still very much a “Made in the Middle East” brand. “We design, sample and produce all in-house in our studio located in Kuwait City,” Alzouman said.  

Her Autumn/Winter 2019 collection is based on the duality of women. Flamboyant yet effortless, it is her own dual approach to design that has made this Kuwaiti designer one to watch.


Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

Photo supplied
Updated 20 August 2019

Startup of the Week: Saudi baker and chef winning hearts of food lovers

  • Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain

A Saudi bakery and restaurant business specializing in pastries is finding its way into Saudi hearts with a delectable selection of fine Italian, French, and Swiss foods.
Ahmad Essam, 28, a self-taught baker and chef, left a productive family business to create what is now one of the most prestigious bakeries in Alkhobar.
Essam set up his bakery and restaurant while working as a production engineer, selling tarts and cakes to his friends.
He was overwhelmed by the encouragement he received, and little by little Essam, his dream of running his own company emerged.
Working over 15 hours a day and being self-taught was just the start; Essam is the interior and graphic designer, the marketer, the CEO and the chef at White Mountain.
Baking French pastries such as croissants, macarons, mille-feuille, eclairs and tarts require a true artisan. Essam described the glory he feels when he bakes, saying: “Dealing with precise tips to get the real essence of French pastries and reaching a level to bake without recipes is a matter of experience and good knowledge. Being a real baker requires a lot of learning as it’s not only about mixing water and flour; its trick lies behind the process of fermentation that sometimes lasts for days.’’
Every once in a while, the young man distributes membership books to loyal customers. “On Valentine’s Day, we distributed 3,000 roses,” he added.
Essam is very passionate, and dreams of opening a cooking academy in Saudi Arabia so he can inspire other amateur bakers; he told Arab News about his future 12,000-square-meters cooking village project that he is aiming to create in Riyadh, “including a library that collects all cookbooks, a seasonal spice shop, a great lake garden, a pizzeria, glossary shop and more, all of which falls under one theme: Cooking.”
For him, business is an obsession and profession. “Chefs have their egos. They are dealing with a tricky job and they know what they are doing exactly. They do not accept comments or advice from other chefs,” he explained.
You can follow him for more information on White Mountain on Instagram: @wm.bakery.