Meet Noura Sulaiman, the breakout Saudi designer to watch

Meet Noura Sulaiman, the breakout Saudi designer to watch
Portrait of Noura Sulaiman. Supplied
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Updated 04 September 2021

Meet Noura Sulaiman, the breakout Saudi designer to watch

Meet Noura Sulaiman, the breakout Saudi designer to watch

DUBAI: Noura Sulaiman is one of the very few Saudi designers to have their creations featured in a large-scale Hollywood production after she created the white, off-the-shoulder dress with cascading Russian tulle sleeves worn by award-winning US singer Halsey in the movie poster for her first feature film, “If I Can’t Have Love, I Want Power.” 

According to the designer, the Moiré dress, from her debut collection, was especially hand-picked for the feature film by LA-based celebrity stylist Law Roach. “Roach is a mainstay on the industry’s most influential stylists’ lists, and it was a high-point in my design career when he decided to include me in his vision,” Sulaiman told Arab News.

The designer had initially designed the dress to wear to her own baby’s reception party last year. However, due to popular demand from clients, she decided to include the piece in her debut ready-to-wear collection, which launched December 2020.

“This piece holds a special place in my heart as I designed it while having pregnant and postpartum bodies in mind as a reason to be embraced and celebrated,” she said.

Sulaiman was born and raised in Riyadh. Hailing from a family of artists, the designer first developed an interest in fashion when she was just a little girl. In fact, the first dress she ever designed was for her cousin’s wedding when she was only 12-years-old.

“Fashion design is one of the most complicated and deep relationships I have encountered in my life,” she said. “Ever since I was a little girl, I had an artistic nature and loved to create, from recreating my school bag out of an old skirt, to designing my first wedding gown.”

Since then, she knew she was destined for a career in fashion. That’s why after graduating high school, Sulaiman enrolled in a fashion design course at the Arts and Skills Institute in Riyadh to sharpen the skills needed to launch her own label. On the side, she worked part-time at a local boutique, styling the store and offering styling services to clients. It was during this time that she discovered she was more fascinated by the craftsmanship of a garment than putting together looks.

In 2020, she debuted her first offering — a collection of timeless vests, farwas, dresses and abayas with a sustainable aspect.

“When I was pregnant, I used to joke that I am pregnant with two babies: My debut collection and my daughter,” shared Sulaiman. “A memorable moment for me was when we were taking pictures for the debut collection and my daughter was crawling behind the scenes. I had given birth to two loves in my life and I would not have it any other way.”

Meanwhile, the designer’s Saudi heritage plays a big role in the inspiration behind her namesake contemporary brand.

“There is high attention to detail in the cuts that we apply in our designs,” she explains. “The beautiful fluid designs give a sense of Arabian luxury coupled with relaxed modesty, which creates a timeless and alluring balance.”

The standout piece from her debut offering is undoubtedly the abaya suit — a long, loose-fitting, double-breasted blazer made out of silk.

“I see it rising in popularity amongst our clients to wear at work,” shared the designer. “I would love to see my suit creations worn by successful and aspiring businesswomen who feel confident and empowered when wearing Noura Sulaiman.”