Arab fashion icon Tamara Al-Gabbani wants to inspire people to be happy

Arab fashion icon Tamara Al-Gabbani wants to inspire people to be happy
Tamara Al-Gabbani
Updated 16 March 2018

Arab fashion icon Tamara Al-Gabbani wants to inspire people to be happy

Arab fashion icon Tamara Al-Gabbani wants to inspire people to be happy

JEDDAH: Dubai-based fashion star Tamara Al-Gabbani has collaborated with the UAE’s Ministry of Happiness to promote the sunny side of life.
Al-Gabbani announced the collaboration in an Instagram post.
In a video, the Saudi designer, blogger and fashion icon talks about what she would tell her younger self. “Life is going to bring me some tragic moments but not to let me down ... it’s okay to be sad for a little while but then I have the tools and the tenacity to overcome them and that happiness is my choice,” she said. In a second video, Al-Gabbani shares with her fans how she copes with each day.
“I would say there is a series of happy moments in my life but everyday I wake up deciding that today whatever happens I am gonna go to sleep a happy girl,” she said.
“Positivity and happiness is most definitely a journey where you choose how to handle and manage your reactivity to life, emotions, moods, curve balls, circumstances ... etc,” Al-Gabbani wrote.
“It doesn’t mean not feeling the human response to a situation or moment, but rather feeling it and then taking the decision to accept what has happened, find the silver lining (if you can), and then moving on ... Happiness is a choice and a responsibility. No one is perfect, but we can use each day to work on ourselves and become better version of ourselves. Change is a good thing, and we are all capable of it,” she wrote on Instagram.


Catwalk star Gigi Hadid celebrates ‘World Keffiyeh Day’ in honor of signature Arab print

Catwalk star Gigi Hadid celebrates ‘World Keffiyeh Day’ in honor of signature Arab print
Gigi Hadid is the daughter of Dutch model Yolanda Hadid and US-Palestinian real estate developer Mohamed Hadid. File/AFP
Updated 12 May 2021

Catwalk star Gigi Hadid celebrates ‘World Keffiyeh Day’ in honor of signature Arab print

Catwalk star Gigi Hadid celebrates ‘World Keffiyeh Day’ in honor of signature Arab print

DUBAI: Gigi Hadid decided to celebrate her Palestinian roots this week. The half-Arab model took to her Instagram Stories to embrace “World Keffiyeh Day,” an initiative launched by the Solidarity for Palestinian Human Rights at Concordia University in Montreal, Canada, on May 11, 2016, in an effort to shed light on the ongoing Palestine-Israel conflict. 

The premise of the unofficial event is to show solidarity with Palestinians by donning the checkered black-and-white scarf around the neck or head.

In honor of the annual day, the catwalk star posted a throwback photo of herself wearing a keffiyeh-style top from Chanel’s 2015 cruise collection, which was staged in Dubai. 

The 26-year-old posted a throwback of herself wearing a keffiyeh-style top designed by Chanel. Instagram

“It’s #worldkeffiyehday,” wrote Hadid, alongside the Palestinian flag and red heart emojis.

She also reposted an infographic highlighting the significance of the keffiyeh patterns. 

“Thank you @GiGiHadid for participating in World Keffiyeh Day and raising your voice,” wrote the initative on its official Twitter account.

The 26-year-old is the daughter of Dutch model and “Real Housewives of Beverly Hills” star Yolanda Hadid and US-Palestinian real estate developer Mohammed Hadid, whose family fled to Lebanon from Palestine as refugees in 1948.

The model occasionally takes to social media to speak about her paternal Palestinian heritage and celebrate her Arab roots.

“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,” she previously said during a promotional campaign for Reebok in Sydney.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Gigi Hadid (@gigihadid)

Gigi and her younger sister Bella also often use their platforms to voice their support for Palestinian people by sharing posts explaining the rising tensions in the region.

“You will not erase Palestine,” read one of the illustrations that Gigi shared on her Instagram stories following the Al-Aqsa Mosque attack this week.

Gigi posted a picture of her father’s US passport on Instagram.

She also shared a photograph of her father’s long-expired US passport, which states his birthplace as Palestine. Bella had previously shared the same picture last year, but Instagram had taken it down. After the model publicly criticized the platform for its move, Instagram eventually apologized to Bella and restored her post.

Other celebrities to voice their support for Palestine include British-Albanian pop star Dua Lipa, Algerian model Younes Bendjima, singer The Weeknd and “Avengers” star Mark Ruffalo. 


Model Imaan Hammam donates to causes close to heart

Model Imaan Hammam donates to causes close to heart
Imaan Hammam donated to three important causes. Instagram
Updated 12 May 2021

Model Imaan Hammam donates to causes close to heart

Model Imaan Hammam donates to causes close to heart

DUBAI: Moroccan-Egyptian-Dutch model Imaan Hammam made donations to three causes as Ramadan came to an end.

Writing on Instagram, she said: “It’s so important to remember to give back and support the communities and people who need it.”

Among the initiatives the 24-year-old donated to was Preemptive Love, a non-profit organization that helps with emergency relief on the frontlines of conflict and supports displaced communities by selling refugee-made goods.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by Imaan Hammam (@imaanhammam)

Hammam also revealed that she donated funds to Islamic Relief USA and Muslims of the World to “give humanitarian aid to Palestine, sustain clean water and sanitation, feed orphans in Yemen and Afghanistan, and provide support and relief for refugees.”

She added: “I’m so happy to lend my platform to bring awareness to the humanitarian crisis happening throughout Islamic states.”


US actress, mogul Jessica Alba shows off Arab labels in New York

Jessica Alba showed off a pair of earrings by Lebanese-Brazilian fine jeweler Ana Khouri. (Getty Images)
Jessica Alba showed off a pair of earrings by Lebanese-Brazilian fine jeweler Ana Khouri. (Getty Images)
Updated 11 May 2021

US actress, mogul Jessica Alba shows off Arab labels in New York

Jessica Alba showed off a pair of earrings by Lebanese-Brazilian fine jeweler Ana Khouri. (Getty Images)

DUBAI: US actress and business mogul Jessica Alba showed off a pair of dainty heels by Lebanese designer Andrea Wazen and accessories by part-Arab jewelry designer Ana Khouri while out and about in New York last week.

The actress — who is also the co-founder of the billion-dollar home care business The Honest Company — was in New York to visit NASDAQ headquarters for the IPO of her company.

Later, she was spotted walking in Manhattan and even appeared on “The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon” wearing a pair of dainty rose-colored mules by Wazen.

Alba showed off the Denver mesh mules in pink, which feature a translucent upper, thin ankle strap and elegant pointed toe shape. The heels complemented a dark sage green bag by Celine and a greige trench coat-and-sheath dress combination.

The entrepreneur and actress wore a pair of pink heels by Andrea Wazen. (Getty Images)

Wazen isn’t the only Arab designer Alba flaunted while out and about in New York. She attended the IPO of her company wearing chunky gold statement earrings by Lebanese-Brazilian fine jeweler Ana Khouri. 

New York-based Khouri has seen her pieces worn by everyone from Nicole Kidman and Charlize Theron to Karlie Kloss and Alicia Vikander.

Wazen is also no stranger to celebrity fans, and has seen her designs sported by the likes of actress Gabrielle Union-Wade, model Ashley Graham, Katy Perry, Kylie Jenner and Jennifer Lopez during her “It’s My Party World Tour” in 2019.

The shoe designer is fresh off a win at the Footwear News (FN) Achievement Awards in December, nabbing the Emerging Talent prize.

“What a feeling… I cannot explain the joy and satisfaction I am feeling,” she wrote at the time, before thanking Michael Atmore, chief brand officer and the director of the event, for recognizing her as this year’s emerging talent, stylist Jill Jacobs for presenting her with the award and her team, who she said she couldn’t have “accomplished any of this” without.

“Last but not least, I would like to dedicate this award to my beautiful city, my source of inspiration and my home Beirut,” she wrote.


Startup of the Week: Alia’s Touch; Combination of classic, modern clothing design

Startup of the Week: Alia’s Touch; Combination of classic, modern clothing design
Updated 11 May 2021

Startup of the Week: Alia’s Touch; Combination of classic, modern clothing design

Startup of the Week: Alia’s Touch; Combination of classic, modern clothing design

JEDDAH: Alia Al-Zubaidi’s passion for design led her into becoming an interior designer. But it was her love of fashion that prompted the setting up of her own business, Alia’s Touch.

Her popular twist on the tie-dye technique has seen her incorporating the design into dresses, abayas, and other personalized, hand-painted items of clothing.

The entrepreneur started out producing custom-made pieces for her customers, but as the process developed, she began selling her designs to stores.

“I particularly like printing my designs on the fabric itself. I buy fabrics from different places such as India, Pakistan, Dubai, and the UK. I source a variety of fabrics from around the world and add my unique touch.
It is my work and my hobby,” she said.

Al-Zubaidi described her style of clothes as “classic-modern” and the paint for her recent tie-dyed designs was imported from India.

“Tie-dyed clothes were not a common fashion in Saudi Arabia, so when I started making them, I was skeptical. However, my customers loved the new designs and wanted to buy them immediately,” she added.

As tie-dye became popular in the Kingdom, Al-Zubaidi noticed other fabrics being sold with the designs printed on them.

“I was hand painting each article of clothing at that time, so each piece was different. The challenge I faced at the beginning of my business was finding outlets to sell my products. Any concept stores, or bazaars were extremely expensive.”

The designer draws her inspiration from many sources including the traditional jalabia (a full-length loose dress commonly worn by Saudi women) and produces trendy prints and patterns for younger people.

Although preferring prints, she is not afraid to experiment with embroidery, laces, and different designs.

“I think the biggest thing that designers struggle with is the high cost of making these clothes. There are limited outlets where they can be sold, and the competition is extremely tough,” she said.

Further details on Instagram @alias_touch


Founders of fashion label NIILI seek to share UAE design ethos with the world

Founders of fashion label NIILI seek to share UAE design ethos with the world
Updated 10 May 2021

Founders of fashion label NIILI seek to share UAE design ethos with the world

Founders of fashion label NIILI seek to share UAE design ethos with the world

DUBAI: As UAE-based luxury womenswear label NIILI readies to bring its unique line to Saudi Arabia via the Homegrown Market, a concept store that showcases contemporary emerging Arab brands, the founders spoke to Arab News about their global hopes for the brand that was launched mere weeks before the debilitating COVID-19 pandemic. 

NIILI’s “N21” Fall/Winter 2021/22 capsule collection, which will be available at the Homegrown Market, is inspired by the rich heritage of the UAE and features two of symbols of the country’s culture — palm trees and henna, the ancient art that is commonly used to design women’s hands and feet for weddings and other religious events like Eid. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NIILI (@niili_official)

A customized pattern melding the two is visible throughout the capsule collection on the label’s signature flowy kaftans. The new line is marked by soft pastels and natural hues, a color palette that was chosen to highlight elegance and femininity.

Launched mere weeks before the COVID-19 pandemic took hold of the Middle East, NIILI has been fighting to build a name for itself in the competitive fashion market. 

The co-founders of the ready-to-wear brand, Emirati Khaled Al-Zaabi and Spanish Paula Quetglas Llop, discussed the fashion house’s main goals, how the brand is succeeding despite tough times and its new collection.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NIILI (@niili_official)

“What we wanted to do was really create a truly wonderful luxury brand out of the region that would cater to the tastes of the region, but also share with the world our own views of design inspiration and luxury,” said Al-Zaabi.  

The entrepreneur said that he wanted to share Emirati culture with the world, but also stay true to the nature of the UAE. “It is a very inclusive country and a very global country to actually have that international view and international appeal,” added the founder. 

For Llop, she believes that this is the best time to “consume local.” She said that with the pandemic, the trend in countries now is to support “what’s going on in one's country.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NIILI (@niili_official)

When speaking about the effect of the pandemic on NIILI, Al-Zaabi joked: “You could conduct all the analysis and industry studies… and then you launch on the 15th of January 2020, then a few weeks later there is a major global pandemic that hasn’t happened in a hundred years.”

He said that launching during the time of a pandemic was challenging. “It was and still is extremely difficult… tghankfully we are quite a lean structure as well. We’ve had to make a lot of sacrifices as well (with) cuts,” he explained. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

A post shared by NIILI (@niili_official)

“It also allowed us to revise our strategy, revise our business plans and rethink a lot of aspects,” added Al-Zaabi. 

According to Llop, the major change for NIILI was going entirely digital. “We really had to think about how to proceed to get a space in the digital world that is absolutely flooded with brands and new things,” she said. 

However, the brand has been making moves since its launch. Just last month, NIILI launched on Ounass for customers in Saudi Arabia, the UAE, Kuwait, Oman, Bahrain and beyond.