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

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.


Lebanon’s style set gets serious over forest fires

Thick smoke had been seen drifting over the outskirts of Beirut. (AFP)
Updated 16 October 2019

Lebanon’s style set gets serious over forest fires

DUBAI: Lebanese influencers are coming together on social media to raise awareness about the forest fires blazing through parts of the country in recent days.

Influencers including Lana El-Sahely, half-Australian Jessica Kahawaty and Nathalie Fanj have all taken to Instagram to lament the lack of support for Lebanon’s Civil Defense, which has been battling to quell the flames since Monday.

On Monday night, fires ripped through the Chouf mountains and northern Metn in Mount Lebanon, reaching the forests of Zgharta in the north. Firefighters from the Civil Defense tried to put out flames, but people woke at 3 a.m. only to see them revived and spreading from one region to another due to strong winds. Consequently, civilians had to intervene to extinguish the fires themselves, as government forces were not able to reach all burning areas.

Thick smoke had been seen drifting over the outskirts of Beirut, the mountainous Chouf region to its southeast, and the southern city of Saida.

In the Chouf, an area famed for its forests, a volunteer firefighter lost his life trying to put out the flames, his family said.

El-Sahely took to Instagram with a sober post — an image with white text saying “My Lebanon” in both English and Arabic against a stark black background.

“What is happening today is a national and a natural disaster and (it) is my priority to address (it) as a Lebanese. A huge fire is raging through Chouf and it has already destroyed forest and agricultural land and houses and threatens more towns and our cedar reserve. My heart and prayers go out to Chouf, to our Lebanese mountains, to its residents and to every tree bird and flower. Please take a moment to pray for (the) safety of my Lebanon, land and citizens. I hope we wake up to better days soon,” she captioned the post.

For her part, Lebanese-Australian model Kahawaty shared a powerful image of trees ablaze with the words “Save Lebanon” superimposed over the flames.

“I just woke up in the US to the most chilling news in my beloved Lebanon. Fires are raging through this already fragile country destroying homes and killing families. The country is ill equipped to deal with the magnitude of such a disaster bringing the people and rescue teams to their knees. My heart aches and I feel numb going through all the photos and videos watching helplessly… My thoughts are with everyone affected. God help them,” Kahawaty posted.