I’m on my way to meet Rami al Ali, one of the leading fashion designers in the Middle East who has dressed international celebrities like Beyoné, Chanel Iman, Carla Gugino, Kelly Rowland, to name just a few. Of Syrian origin, Rami moved to Dubai after finishing his studies in 1995. Here he launched his own fashion label in 2000, which is taking the international fashion scene by storm with elegant designs and the subtle use of delicate fabrics.
Rami’s asked me to come to his atelier, so that I can get an idea of the design and dress-making process. Upon arrival at the atelier – a spacious, elegant villa on Al Wasl Road– I follow one of his assistants as she weaves her way between mannequins draped in elegant gowns and dresses in fine fabrics. “The latest is the Autumn Winter 2013-2014 collection,” she says as she sees me admiring the different designs.
We find Rami in his office, surrounded by books and other sources of inspiration with a sketchpad in front of him, deeply engrossed in a series of sketches. He looks up when he hears us enter. “Noor? Great to meet you!” he says with a warm smile and gets up to offer me a seat.
An assistant brings us two cups of green tea and as I take a sip I say: “I read in your profile that you studied visual communications, what made you decide to go into fashion?”
“I always loved art,” he says. “And I grew up as the only boy in a family with four daughters, so I was surrounded by fashion and style from a young age. But I guess one of the key events that propelled me into the world of fashion was when I decided to design and produce a fashion show for my final-year graduation show. It was a very unusual and daring move, but my professors were impressed. I think this boosted my confidence and made me decide to go for a career in this sector.”
“And now some of the world’s biggest fashion icons are wearing Rami Al Ali designs and the brand is conquering catwalks around the world. Are you planning to turn it into a global brand?”
“That’s the ultimate goal. In the meantime, we’re building up a solid business with a strong foundation. But definitely gaining international recognition: our collections are presented at all the top shows in Paris and we’ve also started introducing the brand in the U.S. It’s great to see my work on the red carpet in Hollywood,” he says with a smile.
“That’s great!” I say. “So what’s next?”
“I’m working on a second Rami Al Ali line of prêt-à-porter designs. It’s still very much a work in progress, but I’m excited to see where it will take the brand. I hope that the brand will continue to grow and ultimately my business partner and I want to take it from a fashion house to a corporation.”
“Plenty of exciting plans! Be sure to keep us posted!”
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