Designer Maha Ahmed comes full circle with Milan showcase of contemporary label Autonomie 

Designer Maha Ahmed comes full circle with Milan showcase of contemporary label Autonomie 
Ahmed designs edgy blazers, asymmetric trousers, patchwork-emblazed and stitched tops. (Instagram)
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Updated 29 March 2023

Designer Maha Ahmed comes full circle with Milan showcase of contemporary label Autonomie 

Designer Maha Ahmed comes full circle with Milan showcase of contemporary label Autonomie 

DUBAI: Dubai-based designer Maha Ahmed has come full circle with her latest presentation at the White Milano trade fair in Italy, where the founder of edgy label Autonomie graduated from the world-renowned fashion school, Istituto Marangoni Milano.  

Held on the sidelines of Milan Fashion Week, White Milano is considered the world’s premiere trade show for international apparel, fashion and accessories. 




Ahmed’s brand is based on storytelling. (Supplied)

“It was an experience that was very much close to my heart because this is where I went to school,” Ahmed said in an interview with Arab News. “So going back as a designer, someone with a brand and someone that actually has something to offer… It was a very personal experience for me.”  

Ahmed designs edgy blazers, asymmetric trousers, patchwork-emblazed and stitched tops, jackets made of vegan leather and more. Her brand is based on storytelling — every collection is based on a new story, philosophy or a concept. The label, which now has three collections, was launched in 2020 when its founder moved from Cairo to Dubai.  

“It was a time for people to start questioning a lot of things in life and re-evaluate what you’re doing with your life. And for me, it was no different,” she said of launching her label during the pandemic. “I didn’t really focus on the challenges of running a business during the pandemic at the time, but for me it was more like a now or never kind of thing. The world might end at any moment, so if you’re not going to do what you love now, if you’re not going to risk it now, then when?” 

When she started her brand, it was for self-expression and she did not cater to specific market needs, according to the designer herself. However, now, after three collections, she said the brand has evolved and she has found a balance in order to present her artistic side, while tailoring her designs to market demands.  

“Every season I try to achieve this balance where I do some pieces for me, where I can see an artsy side — so a lot of shapes, volumes, colors and textures,” she said. “Then you have to balance it out with pieces that are more wearable and relatable that people can wear on a day-to-day.” 

The Egyptian designer presented her latest collection at the first-ever iteration of Dubai Fashion Week in March. Walking the runway after she presented her first fashion show was the moment in her career she is most proud of — “it was a crazy rush,” she said.  

“The whole time backstage, I was on autopilot. I couldn’t feel anything. So, the second it started, I remember I actually fell, I sat on the floor, and I had someone that's working with me help me out,” she added. 

“This was probably the proudest moment because usually, if you launch a collection or like you present something online, you don’t necessarily see the direct feedback right away,” she noted.  

 “I hoped this brand will become a regular on the official calendar, showcasing every single season in Paris or Milan,” she said of her future dreams. 

The designer also has plans to expand her product line and create a menswear collection.  


Designer Amina Muaddi celebrates her birthday in style

Designer Amina Muaddi celebrates her birthday in style
Updated 17 sec ago

Designer Amina Muaddi celebrates her birthday in style

Designer Amina Muaddi celebrates her birthday in style

DUBAI: Celebrity-loved footwear designer Amina Muaddi had an early birthday celebration this week with her friends and colleagues.

The shoemaker, who is of Jordanian and Romanian descent but grew up in Italy, turns 37 on June 2. To mark the special occasion, Muaddi got together with some of her closest friends.

The entrepreneur, who wore a long brown leather dress, shared snippets of her pre-birthday bash on her Instagram Stories.

Muaddi wore a long brown leather dress. (Instagram)

Muaddi’s celebrity friends including US model and socialite Lori Harvey took to Instagram to share pictures. “Happy birthday my baby Amina Muaddi. It’s always a party when we get together. I hope you have the best day ever. Cant wait to celebrate you,” Harvey wrote on her Stories.

Egyptian Moroccan Dutch model Imaan Hammam also posted a picture. “Its my sis Amina Muaddi’s birthday y’all!” she wrote on Instagram. 

The pair have previously collaborated on a special campaign that paid tribute to their Arab roots. Hammam starred in the August 2022 campaign that was shot in Cairo.

Muaddi’s celebrity friends including US model and socialite Lori Harvey took to Instagram to share pictures. (Instagram)

The videos and images featured Hammam in multiple scenarios, including standing alongside a white Arabian horse and posing atop intricately woven rugs.

The model wore strappy square stilettos, satin pointed-toe pumps and transparent platforms that were embellished with Muaddi’s iconic sparkly detailing.

Muaddi certainly has a lot to celebrate as she is at the helm of one of the most in-demand footwear labels in the industry.

She launched her eponymous footwear line in August 2018, about one year after departing from her role as co-founder and creative director of luxury footwear label Oscar Tiye.

The creator also helped design the shoes for Rihanna’s Fenty collection. The collaboration was so successful that it received the Collaborator of the Year award at the 34th edition of the FN Achievement Awards in 2020.

A year later, she landed a spot on Women’s Wear Daily and Footwear News’ 50 Most Powerful Women list.

The most recent A-list star to step out in her heels is Beyonce. She wore Muaddi’s Begum PVC glass pumps in London, on her Renaissance World Tour.


Taylor Swift, Ice Spice sparkle in Yousef Al-Jasmi catsuits 

Taylor Swift, Ice Spice sparkle in Yousef Al-Jasmi catsuits 
Updated 31 May 2023

Taylor Swift, Ice Spice sparkle in Yousef Al-Jasmi catsuits 

Taylor Swift, Ice Spice sparkle in Yousef Al-Jasmi catsuits 

DUBAI: US singer-songwriter Taylor Swift and rapper Ice Spice were spotted wearing dazzling catsuits by Kuwaiti designer Yousef Al-Jasmi in the new music video for “Karma.”  

While Swift is seen in an embellished white-and-silver creation, Ice Spice sparkled in a skin-toned, form-fitting piece.  

Swift was also seen wearing a look by Lebanese fashion house Azzi & Osta in the music video.  

The handmade gown, part of their Between Light and Sea Couture 2023 Collection, features antique silver sequins on silk georgette, adorned with ombre, silver and gold leaves on the shoulders, long cape, skirt and cape.   

The new music video had its world premiere during the second night of Swift’s “Eras Tour” show in New Jersey. Ice Spice also made a surprise appearance during the concert.    


What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold
Updated 30 May 2023

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

What We Are Reading Today: Before the Coffee Gets Cold

RIYADH: “Before the Coffee Gets Cold,” published in 2015, is a time travel-themed novel written by famous Japanese playwright Toshikazu Kawaguchi and translated to English by Geoffrey Trousselot.

In the novel, four women wish to travel back in time for various reasons, whether to confront the man who left them, to receive a letter from a husband suffering from Alzheimer’s disease, to visit a loved one for the last time, or to see a daughter they were never able to meet.

A cafe located in a small back alley in Tokyo not only serves coffee to its customers but also offers a one-of-a-kind experience: a chance to go back in time.

The journey to the past, however, isn’t so easy. One must follow a set of rules to journey safely: The time traveler must sit in a particular seat, not leave the cafe, and return to the present before the coffee gets cold.

Each chapter in the novel is dedicated to a particular customer at the cafe, but the different customers also make appearances in each other’s stories throughout, and they support one another in their journeys.

The customers’ stories are rooted in difficult circumstances and filled with grief and misfortune, but while the cafe doesn’t offer the much sought-after second chance in life, it does provide something equally significant: closure.

The cafe’s customers confront and make amends for their losses, even though they are aware they won’t be able to change anything once the coffee gets cold and they return to the present.

“Before the Coffee Gets Cold” is a sad, sweet, yet hopeful novel. Kawaguchi conveys a powerful message through the stories of the four characters, emphasizing that while the past is unchangeable, the future is always within reach.

The book is the first part of a series, followed by three other books titled: “Tales from the Cafe” (2021), “Before Your Memory Fades” (2022), and “Before We Say Goodbye” (2023).


Diriyah Company collaborates with Saudi fashion label Ramzen

Diriyah Company has partnered with fashion house Ramzen. (Supplied)
Diriyah Company has partnered with fashion house Ramzen. (Supplied)
Updated 30 May 2023

Diriyah Company collaborates with Saudi fashion label Ramzen

Diriyah Company has partnered with fashion house Ramzen. (Supplied)
  • Saudi fashion house Ramzen will create and present a collection of exclusive evening wear for men and women inspired by Diriyah
  • Jerry Inzerillo: This symbolizes our dedication to showcasing the multifaceted cultural heritage of the Kingdom, while also fostering the growth of the fashion industry in Diriyah

RIYADH: With an aim to promote local talent and foster creativity in Saudi Arabia, the Diriyah Company has announced a partnership with renowned international Saudi designer Abdulrahman Al-Romaizan, the founder of Ramzen.

Through this alliance, Saudi fashion house Ramzen will create and present a collection of exclusive evening wear for men and women inspired by Diriyah, The City of Earth.

Jerry Inzerillo, Group CEO of Diriyah Company said that he was delighted to team up with Ramzen and its talented founder, whose unique vision aligns with their commitment to nurturing Saudi Arabia’s creative landscape.

“This symbolizes our dedication to showcasing the multifaceted cultural heritage of the Kingdom, while also fostering the growth of the fashion industry in Diriyah," he added.

Ready-to-wear fashions, inspired by the pieces presented, will be available as a capsule collection following the show.

Al-Romaizan, who is acclaimed for pushing the boundaries of Saudi fashion, said that working with Diriyah Company would help him showcase designs in a city with such historical significance while also embracing modernity and innovation.

“Together, we aim to celebrate the intersection of tradition and contemporary fashion, leaving an indelible mark on Saudi Arabia's cultural tapestry," he said.

Saudi Arabia’s fashion sector is growing and this partnership will strengthen the country's position as a fashion hub. Through the art and fashion show at the beginning of October, both look forward to captivating audiences with a breathtaking display of creativity and elegance.

Diriyah has a rich cultural heritage that intertwines with innovation and modernity. The city has been associated with the first Saudi state and was founded in 1727 by Imam Muhammad bin Saud, who made it his initial power base, the first capital of government and a scientific and social center.


Jordan to begin celebrations ahead of the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Arabia’s Rajwa Al-Saif

Jordan to begin celebrations ahead of the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Arabia’s Rajwa Al-Saif
Updated 31 May 2023

Jordan to begin celebrations ahead of the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Arabia’s Rajwa Al-Saif

Jordan to begin celebrations ahead of the wedding of Crown Prince Hussein and Saudi Arabia’s Rajwa Al-Saif
  • King Abdullah II will host a banquet at at the Royal Hashemite Court, with 4,000 people from across Jordan attending

AMMAN: Jordan begins its festivities on Wednesday to celebrate the royal wedding of Crown Prince Al-Hussein bin Abdullah II and Saudi citizen Rajwa Khalid Al-Saif, Jordan News Agency reported.

The two-day celebration will include a royal feast hosted by King Abdullah II at the Royal Hashemite Court, with 4,000 people from across Jordan attending the event.

The banquet will boast poetry recitals, singing, and Jordanian folk tunes.

It was revealed earlier this month that the religious marriage ceremony will take place on Thursday at Zahran Palace in Amman, with the reception — to be attended by international heads of state and the Jordanian royal family — at Al-Husseiniya Palace.

The wedding of the Jordanian royal and the Saudi national has drawn interest from local, regional, and international media, Petra reported.

Several television networks will be broadcasting the ceremony on Thursday.