Inspired by Bianca Jagger, SemSem is celebrating powerful women

Abeer Al-Otaiba resonated with Bianca Jagger’s advocacy for the social and human rights of disadvantaged women and girls. (Supplied)
Updated 11 July 2019

Inspired by Bianca Jagger, SemSem is celebrating powerful women

DUBAI: Inspired by the iconic British actress and human rights activist Bianca Jagger, Egyptian designer Abeer Al-Otaiba’s fashion label SemSem has released its Resort 2020 collection which also draws inspiration from the 1970s disco scene.

Apart from looking to her most iconic style moments, Al-Otaiba also resonated with Jagger’s advocacy for the social and human rights of disadvantaged women and girls.

In a released statement, Washington-based Al-Otaiba said, “Every season, I look at ways to integrate our signature geometric detailing with graceful wearable silhouettes. This season, I wanted to make a powerful statement about the core of our brand identity and show a new direction for the future of SemSem.”

In the Resort 2020 collection, fabrics are hand-painted and lamé is tie-dyed in rich, saturated tones of blue and pink to create patterns that are SemSem’s own.




(Supplied)

The label’s ensembles have been worn by Hollywood’s who’s who, including Blake Lively, Taylor Swift and Kourtney Kardashian and this collection promises to be a fan favorite too, with beautifully embellished bustiers alongside signature tailored pants and dramatic skirts in elegant neutrals, silvers, blacks and whites.

Pleated, bias-cut gowns and soft Egyptian cotton separates are also featured — they are perfect for day-to-night dressing.

Fluid crepe silks are mixed with custom-dyed ostrich feathers, jacquard lame pieces and cashmere to add an element of texture to the collection.




(Supplied) 

Having shown at Paris Fashion Week in 2018 and regularly written up in Vogue magazine, SemSem has brought a sense of jet-set chic to the ready-to-wear market.

But the line’s ethos isn’t only about red-carpet glamour; encouraging mothers to instill a sense of global awareness and dedication to philanthropy in their daughters lies at the heart of SemSem’s mission, according to the brand.

A philanthropist with a degree in civil engineering and stints spent living across the Middle East, Europe and the US, Al-Otaiba created SemSem in 2014 as a way to celebrate women and children across the globe. Bestowing the label with her daughter’s nickname, Al-Otaiba’s label has matured in a few years.

 “In addition to engineering, my Arab roots have always inspired our design aesthetic,” Al-Otaiba told Arab News in an earlier interview. “SemSem is a brand deeply rooted in my heritage and represents the Eastern and Western cultures where I grew up. Our designs have a global vision, born from my experiences living in different parts of the world and a strong love of my Arab culture. Informed by the cultural aesthetic of the Middle East and the Mediterranean, gentle architectural layers and glamour punctuated by delicate restraint are hallmarks of my designs.”


Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall: ‘I was bullied for being Arab’

The singer's maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian. (Getty)
Updated 05 June 2020

Little Mix’s Jade Thirlwall: ‘I was bullied for being Arab’

DUBAI: Girl group Little Mix’s star Jade Thirlwall has opened up about bullying she experienced as a teenager due to her Arab roots.

Speaking on the BBC “No Country For Young Women” podcast, the 2011 “X-Factor” finalist, whose maternal grandfather is Yemeni and maternal grandmother Egyptian, said that she felt “ashamed” of her background. 

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

oh hey it’s me shamelessly plugging #BreakUpSong for the 1847th time via a thirst trap pic

A post shared by jade amelia thirlwall (@jadethirlwall) on

“When I went to secondary school, I was literally one of three people of color in the school,” the 27-year-old music sensation, whose father is British, said.

“I remember one time I got pinned down in the toilets and they put a bindi spot on my forehead; it was horrific.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

look in the notebook.

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“I have constantly had this inner battle of not really knowing who I am, or where I fit in, or what community I fit into,” she said.

The singer recalled that she would put white powder on her face “to whiten” herself when performing on stage at her school.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

finding a new love for my natural hair⚡️

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After joining Little Mix, she “subconsciously” did not want to talk about her heritage for fear of being disliked.

“I think because I was bullied quite badly in school because of the color of my skin and for being Arab, I wasn’t very proud of who I was,” Thirlwall explained.

 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
 

category is: 80s realness @madison_phipps

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“I would hate to talk about my race and heritage and not say the right things,” she added.