Rami Al Ali – Gem of Arabia
There are few Middle Eastern designers whose creations turn heads every time somebody wears them. While the region’s fashion industry is as diverse as it’s ever been, a handful of designers make it abroad. Rami
There are few Middle Eastern designers whose creations turn heads every time somebody wears them. While the region’s fashion industry is as diverse as it’s ever been, a handful of designers make it abroad. Rami Al Ali is one of the few who made it; his shows not only gather crowds in Dubai, but in the capital of fashion – Paris. We’ve caught up with the Syrian-born designer during his show at Paris Haute Couture for Autumn/Winter ‘16 season to talk business, inspiration and future plans.
You are one of the Middle Eastern designers who is loved by many, would you say that you help the region become globally known in the fashion industry?
There are great Middle Eastern designers that really do give the region the attention it deserves, such as Elie Saab and Zuhair Murad! It’s a fantastic honour for the Rami Al Ali brand to be globally known – we’ve been working extremely hard to reach this milestone and will work harder to continue and grow.
You have had regular presentations and shows in Dubai and Paris. How important is it for Middle Eastern designers to showcase in Paris?
Paris Haute Couture week is one of the biggest, most well-recognised platforms to showcase at. It is a testament to the fact that the Middle East has great talent and a well-known Middle Eastern label can be successful in that market and has garnered greater interest in this region internationally. For my label, this means I compete on a global level and cater to a growing demand from all over the world.
What is your opinion on the digitalisation of fashion business and how do you deal with it?
The digital world plays a huge part in the fashion business now – from all of the social media platforms to live streaming. I do believe it’s a great way to engage with customers and keeping them up to date with the latest collections or giving them a small insight into what goes on behind the scenes on Snapchat. I like to take it all in moderation, we adapt the brand where we see fit.
What is your opinion on the local market and how do you compare to the markets of other regions?
The Middle East has become a lot more accessible over the years and is certainly creating it’s own fashion footprint. There is a growing support system for talent in this region. The local market has a high spending power – the majority of my customers are from the GCC; I work with many different women who love to be dressed in a Rami Al Ali design.
What is the most rewarding moment of your career and why?
There’s been so many, but if I had to choose just one then I’d choose the first time I showcased my couture collection in Paris, I can still remember every moment.
On average, how long does it take you to complete a gown?
It depends on the complexity of the gown, the design and the details applied. It can vary from three weeks and up to 2 months in certain cases.
Are you planning on doing any shows in the region soon?
You will have to wait and see!