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.


K-pop group BTS: New album tells of conquering doubts and fears

Updated 24 February 2020

K-pop group BTS: New album tells of conquering doubts and fears

  • BTS stands at the forefront of South Korean pop music and has helped gather an international audience for the genre
  • BTS broke into the US market in 2017 and was the first Korean group to win a Billboard music award

SEOUL: The young stars in South Korean boy band BTS said on Monday the theme of their new album dealt with how they overcame doubts and fears encountered since they burst on the K-pop scene seven years ago.
Having performed at the Grammy Awards in Los Angeles last month, BTS stands at the forefront of South Korean pop music and has helped gather an international audience for the genre.
On Friday, the band released “Map of the Soul: 7,” its fourth album. The 20 tracks include collaborations with Sia and Troye Sivan.
Plans for a large media event in Seoul for the album were ditched due to the coronavirus health scare in South Korea, but the band instead livestreamed a news conference based on preregistered questions.
“Sometimes we were uncertain, sometimes we were lost. Every time that happened, the shadows and fear inside us grew,” rapper Suga told the news conference aired via YouTube.
“But it’s been seven years. I think we have grounded ourselves now, and we learned how to do that, the difficulties and wounds we face and fight them.”
Though several young K-Pop stars have struggled with cyberbullying and depression, Suga did not elaborate on what difficulties BTS faced.
But the group, whose seven members are in their Twenties, took an unexpectedly long vacation last year to “recharge.”
When asked about the comment by Bong Joon-ho, director of the Oscar-winning “Parasite,” who recently said BTS was 3,000 times more influential than him, Suga said he was an avid fan of Bong’s work and hoped more South Korean artists would be introduced to the world.
Leader and rapper RM likened K-pop to a “giftbox” integrating music, dance, video and interaction with fans, saying the personal elements the band infuses in its music might have boosted its global popularity.
“We try to instill personal stories in our music and dance and I think the concerns and feelings that we have resonate with people around the world,” he said.
But making music is a “constant battle to show your weakness and fight the fear of expressing your fear,” he added.
BTS broke into the US market in 2017 and was the first Korean group to win a Billboard music award. It is set to launch a new world tour in April, kicking off in Seoul.