Velvet Girl: Khaleda Rajab
Known as being a daring outrageous designer of Haute Couture wear in the Middle East the Bahrain-based designer Khaleda Rajab speaks with Velvet on being an Icon in the Middle East and her latest Capsule
Known as being a daring outrageous designer of Haute Couture wear in the Middle East the Bahrain-based designer Khaleda Rajab speaks with Velvet on being an Icon in the Middle East and her latest Capsule Collection with Linda Farrow and Fahad Almarzouq. Their unique oversized cat-eye sunglass collection has caught the eye of many A-listers with their campaign launching early next year, it is sure to make a statement just like the designer does herself.
When asked how it feels to be an Icon in the Middle East Khaleda replies “It’s something truly amazing to be referred to as an Icon. It’s rewarding to see how people in the Middle East are appreciating and supporting my work.” The Bahraini designer started to explore her design talents in the early 90’s where she would design dresses for her friends and when studying a Bachelor’s degree in Business at The University of Suffolk, Boston, she then considered designing as a career. Khaleda then went onto opening her own exclusive boutique called Khaleda Rajab Haute Couture. Describing herself as a “passionate, driven, perfectionist” she takes her design inspirations from what is around her and believes this is the best muse. “I have spent so much more time trying to think about what to draw, than actually drawing, and I have spent a lot of time looking for artistic inspiration and that doesn’t usually work. When you’re less focused and more in tune with your surroundings then inspiration becomes available to you at the palm of your hands.”
Khaleda never takes her wardrobe too seriously telling us “my style depends on my mood or how I feel when I’m ready to pick out my outfit. I can rock comic and prints for a week, laid back and hip for a few days then go back to plain jeans for the next couple of days. Fashion is fun, play with it. Experiment and be yourself.” We had to ask our Velvet Girl what her statement wardrobe pieces were, “black Daffodile Christian Louboutin’s, accessories, white shirt and leather pants”. Some of her favorite designers include Alexander Wang, Mawi, Helmut Lang and Linda Farrow. Designing her iconic sunglass collection with the latter must have been a great honour and we are not surprised Khaleda cannot select a favorite piece! “I honestly love all the styles; each piece, their colour and design mean a lot to me. I find each style and shape unique in its own way”.
When asked to compare the Bahrain Fashion Scene to the Dubai Fashion Scene Khaleda feels that the “Bahrain Fashion Scene is subtle and less risky and reserved. People in Bahrain are stylish and have their own fun side of fashion, whereas in Dubai, you get to see different styles and a selection of trends as there is a lot of different cultures and ethnicities from various countries, which makes it interesting to watch. In every region, you get to see how people have their own sense of style and personality.”
Finally, you may wonder what this stylish lady does in her free time, “I love fishing, cooking, going to spas, to which I am kind of addicted, and drawing.” A regular traveller, which can be seen on her Instagram page, Khaleda tells us the most amazing place she visited was India. “Delhi, because a lot of people need to know how beautiful, sweet and humble people are over there. It was such a great visit when I shot my clothing line video there a year back. Delhi is glamorous, modern, the restaurants are chic, and the scenery is beyond beautiful.” The last question we had to ask was about the items she doesnt leave the house without, “my rings, hair serum, perfume, tangle teaser and a make-up bag.”
written by: Natasha Northcote
photography by: Jalil Marvin