The name behind Redaa haute couture Abayas has stunned crowds and dressed celebrities. Showcasing in Bridal Shows, judging International Abaya Design competitions, or promoting Van Cleef as their Middle East Brand Ambassador, Amal has made the Abbaya a modern and fashionable garment, whilst respecting the Gulf tradition.
I’m originally from Dubai. I come from an artistic background; my father was an artist and my grandfather and sister were architects. I started exploring fashion at a very young age and designed my first gown for my sister when I was 12. I sketched it and my mother encouraged me to have it made. We then went to the tailor and selected the fabrics!
I never thought of myself as an Abaya designer, because fashion is a part of me. Even as a child, my family asked for my opinion whenever they went to the market. That gave a lot of confidence when I started. I chose the Abaya because it represents our Gulf identity – and I wanted to present it in a way that was acceptable for our generation.
I was the first to change the concept of the Abaya structure, which used to be classic, with the addition of crystals or embellishments. It was quite a challenge to transform the conservative piece into something trendy and modern initially – but the Abaya has become a fashion statement and is inspiring international designers, such as Alexander Wang in his last collection. Our Abayas are currently available in Saks Avenue.
Balancing work with motherhood..
My youngest child was 2 years old when I started. I did struggle at first, but with the help of my husband we managed. It’s very important at the early stages to be with children the whole time. After that, I believe in giving them their quality time. And because I was often traveling, they had to be independent. Kids have to make their own decisions sometimes and learn from their mistakes. You won’t always be supporting them when they reach a certain age, so it’s better to start now.
I am looking for..
Sponsorship is what I need most. I had chances to be part of the Rome Fashion Week earlier this year, as the first participant from the region, but I couldn’t go by myself as it’s very expensive. I’ve had the chance to join New York Fashion Week twice, but I couldn’t get there as I didn’t have sponsorship. Support must come from businessmen or other traders – and since I am representing my country, sponsorship is crucial. In Dubai, they are still not fully aware of the fashion business and industry, even though we have considerable potential.
We have designers, a market and lots of people coming into the region to shop in Dubai. It’s only the designers who don’t have the base to start from. This is why I am working to meet other designers and get others involved.
Lots of things… To fully believe in what you have and in the talent you’re given. Do something for the community; it doesn’t have to only be about you. Push kids to work and let them make their own mistakes. This is how they can learn and benefit from their experiences.
You must also have a vision before you start. Work hard; as they say “The road to success is always under construction”. It’s not going to be a red-carpet thing. But when you are focused on your goals, you forget the small ups and downs, because you have vision.Redaa Abayas are being ordered all over the GCC, but they’re also turning heads in Europe, and requests are coming from France, UK and the United States. Yasmeen Al Masry, Hala Sarhan, and Nayla Al Khaja are some of the Arab celebrities who were seen wearing Redaa Abayas. You can order your favourite Abaya by sending an email request with your measurements. Visit www.amalmurad.com
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