TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

Dr. Lama S. Taher (AN photo by Ziyad Alarfaj)
Updated 20 April 2018

TheFace: Dr. Lama S. Taher, the successful fashion designer whose one dream was not enough

  • Lacking in financial assistance but armed with grit, perseverance and passion, a young Saudi woman fashion designer launches her own brand while pursuing further studies, and succeed in both

I was born and raised in Riyadh and moved to London in 2004 to pursue a Bachelor of Science degree, followed by a Master’s degree in Mental Health.

Eight years ago, when I started on my Ph.D. in Psychology, I felt compelled to go into fashion design. Armed with grit, perseverance and passion, I took the plunge and launched my own brand, LUM, in May 2010.

I had no financial assistance and no fancy business plans — but I believed in it. No one else did, except my older sister who stood by me.

In spite of its humble beginning, the brand was well-received in the Kingdom and the Gulf region. But my father, a physician, was not convinced. I placed a bet with him, vowing to make substantial sales and revenue within one month. On July 1, 2013, I won that bet, making him my number one supporter.  In 2016, I achieved my academic dream, obtaining a Ph.D. in psychology at City University London.  

But it was not easy. Enduring sleepless nights and homesickness, I persevered to meet high academic demands. Meanwhile, the LUM business continued to flourish.

People asked why a successful fashion designer would pursue a doctorate in psychology. I was constantly asked to pick one — but my heart was in one and my mind was in another. 

Few believed I could achieve both. At times, I too doubted myself.

Today, I am an assistant professor at Dar Al Hekma University in Jeddah, supervising award-winning researchers. I am also a Saudi designer and manager of a successful fashion brand sold in the GCC, New York and Los Angeles.  I share my story to empower women to pursue their dreams, to believe in themselves, to fight for what they want.

People still ask: “Why both?” 

I reply, smiling: “Because one dream was not enough.” 


Emma Roberts shows off Lebanese label as she reveals why she blocked her mother on Instagram

Updated 21 October 2020

Emma Roberts shows off Lebanese label as she reveals why she blocked her mother on Instagram

DUBAI: US actress Emma Roberts made an appearance on “Jimmy Kimmel Live!” this week, where she opened up about her new film, pregnancy and how she wound up in an Instagram feud with her mother.

For the occasion, Roberts, who is expecting her first child with her partner Garrett Hedlund, donned a blush, floral Ganni dress paired with shoes by Lebanese footwear designer Andrea Wazen.

The Beirut-based designer launched her eponymous, celebrity-approved label in 2013 following stints with some of the most renowned footwear designers in the world, including Christian Louboutin.

She opted for the Denver Lavender pumps, a pair of mesh sandals with an adjustable buckle strap.

Wazen’s impressive list of celebrity clientele includes Hailey Bieber, Jennifer Lopez and Kylie Jenner.

Roberts video chatted in from Los Angeles, where she revealed that she temporarily blocked her mother, Kelly Cunningham, on social media after she unwittingly “spilled the beans” about her daughter’s pregnancy. 

“I was keeping my pregnancy pretty low key but unfortunately my mother has Instagram. Which, mothers and Instagram, it’s a bad combination," Roberts said on the show.

She added, “She definitely spilled the beans.”

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

Me...and my two favorite guys

A post shared by Emma Roberts (@emmaroberts) on

The 29-year-old explained that her mother doesn’t own a computer and had a flip phone until about three years ago when she bought her an iPhone, calling it “the worst thing I ever did.”

Once she got an iPhone, Cunningham made an Instagram account where she unintentionally spilled the beans on her daughter’s pregnancy by thanking fans who were congratulating her on becoming a grandmother.

“It was a disaster and I found it all out on a plane so I couldn’t get to her, I couldn’t call her or attack her,” Roberts said. “I could just iMessage with her and DM her and ask her to please stop.”

When the “American Horror Story” actress was finally able to get a hold of her mother, Cunningham told her that she had responded to fans because she thought Roberts had already confirmed her pregnancy, but it was actually just a tabloid story. Roberts added that they “kind of laughed” and “kind of got into a fight” over the incident, which led her to temporarily block her mom on social media.

“It’s been an Instagram war with my mother that I never saw coming,” mused Roberts. “It’s a good story to tell the baby.”