maven46 meets: Amira Haroon

The designer behind the eponymous ready-to-wear label

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Words by Leona McDaid
April 11th, 2017

Amira Haroon

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Amira Haroon launched her eponymous label in 2011 which, although being just 6 years old, has already been showcased at both Paris and New York SS17 fashion week respectively. As an avid traveller, Haroon is inspired by a variety of different cultures, nature and fine arts, resulting in eclectic and luxurious collections from the Dubai-based label. 

On the first steps…

I have always loved fashion, even from the age of 3 years old. I studied fashion design at Parsons School of Fashion, Paris. When I moved to Dubai, I realised that it was dominated by couturiers and there was a scarcity for regional ready-to-wear designers who were following an international calendar of collections. That’s when I decided I needed to fill this gap in the market for an international standard prêt label that’s proudly made in Dubai.

On the design process…

I feel an idea in my head for weeks and months before actually getting to the sketch pad. I’m usually quite clear about what my muse is going to wear next season. Once a mood board is finalised on paper it’s a matter of draping on a mannequin ’til I get my flow right. Patterns, surprisingly, come at a much later stage for me. I actually enjoying playing with fabrics before I finalise a pattern.

On the type of women who wear Amira Haroon…

The idea of a well-dressed woman is that she never tries too hard. The Amira Haroon muse is an intellectual nomad living in a floating world, travelling through time and cultures. Ultimately, I design for the confident, thinking woman who allows her style to change and evolve with her travels, leaving a lasting impression wherever she goes.

On the key pieces for each woman…

Every woman on the workforce needs the “Safiyeh” dress: professional yet has details that add flair, perfect for company events.

On fancier nights, the A-lister would need a red carpet ensemble that is sure to blow up the internet. The “Ivy” jumpsuit will be the talk of the town.

For the girl that is always on-the-go – juggling work, school, errands, and pursuing her passion – the “Sunshine” skirt is a holy grail for heading out the door in a snap to conquer the world.

On the challenge of running a fashion label…

Dubai is conventionally not an attractive market for manufacturing but a retail and trade platform. Hence it’s been very difficult to find and attract skilled pattern makers and master cutters in this city. I wish we would focus more on these areas in order to nurture and grow the talents of our very infantile fashion industry.

On the fashion industry in Dubai…

Lately, many local designers are venturing out and bringing fame to the local fashion industry, propelling the government to invest in initiatives like the Dubai Design & Fashion Council and Dubai Design District (D3). I think the only way is up and brighter from now.

On the international market…

Dubai is completely international. So I sell directly to women from all ethnic backgrounds, Europeans as well as middle eastern and Asian women. Women who are looking for an easy but statement piece that’s timeless. Internationally, I would like to expand more into Asia and the Far East as well as Europe, hence focusing on Paris Fashion Week for two seasons now.

Juliet Dress
Genevieve Dress

On her favourite city…

Paris. I have learnt and enjoyed so much in that city, I feel it has a huge influence on what I’m designing.

On Amira Haroon’s AW17 collection…

Amira repeatedly turns to nature for inspiration, experimenting with handcrafted 3-D motifs rather than print. Her symbol of choice this time is the ant: the only animal that can carry weight 30 times heavier than its body.

Today’s evolved woman is constantly on the go; juggling her conventional responsibilities with new, diversified roles. The star-sprinkled journey of the ant on key looks for FW17 creates a retro, glamorous, and happy mood.

On the ‘must visit’ store in Dubai…

It’s a huge retail therapy planet out here! O De Rose and The Odd Piece for that one special piece for your house, Sauce Rocks for a one of a kind eclectic yet timeless piece of jewellery by Noor Fares, Vik Jethwani, Nadine Kanso, and of course Amira Haroon’s studio for a timeless statement jacket. D3 will be one super cool local design talent hunting place very soon.

 

Amira Haroon’s collection is available for purchase in-store at Bloomingdales Kuwait.