Saudi born and Dubai based, designer Noora Hefzi launched her own-name fashion label in 2005 and creates timeless pieces with a sense of fun and glamour.
What started as playtime in her mother’s wardrobe turned into a career, and with her mum still being a close advisor in her collections, Hefzi tells us about her journey and hobbies beyond design.
Describe your morning routine.
I wake up, wash up, get ready, put my products on. Then I would pray, read a few pages of Qaran, then do meditation, set my intentions for the day and write something I’m grateful for. Then I’m off to Pilates, and twice a week I have violin lessons or I do horse riding.
What is your first fashion memory?
Being in my mother’s closet, her wardrobe was fascinating for us when we were kids. By the age of seven, my sister and I would just sit and pick outfits to wear when we grow up, and assign each shoe that goes with which dress, which accessories, so it was really exciting for us. Up until now my mother is still my fashion advisor, even in my designs she’s always advising me on what my new collection could be, and I really appreciate that advice from her.
Tell us about your journey as a fashion designer.
I think it was probably around high school, till then I was always into fashion even as a kid, and I remember when we were at school I used to collect my mother’s old fashion magazines and I’d go through them and cut out the editorial shoots. Because I was very inspired by Cindy Crawford, Linda Evangelista, Claudia Schiffer, at that time I wanted to be a model, but then I discovered maybe it’s not modelling that I wanted because I’m not a poser. It was more about the clothes that they wore, so I wanted to be a designer rather than a model. I really enjoyed creating my looks or wearing something unique in the market, and up to now I really enjoy buying materials and textiles, it’s one of my hobbies – collecting fabrics.
Who is the woman you’re designing for?
Someone who enjoys trying something new, someone who is adventurous. I’m not going to say trendy because I’m not a trend follower, I don’t really read fashion magazines at all or watch TV, so I just go with what I feel is me. When you enjoy a piece, it has to be timeless, it’s got to be fun, something you would love forever, not just because it’s trendy or a neon colour. So I guess someone classy, who enjoy timeless pieces and as well as something that is fun and adventurous.
What do you consider your biggest career success to date?
I would probably say when a&e magazine and Piaget selected me as one of six other ladies in the region as a successful and inspiring woman.
What’s is the motto you live by professionally?
Usually when things don’t work out I tell myself ‘let go and let God’ because usually when you take your energy out of something it always works out. When you are so attached to it or attached to the result, it just always doesn’t go, and sometimes it doesn’t go the way we want but it doesn’t mean that’s it not going well, it’s just god’s way or better way that we don’t know.
What has been the biggest challenge?
As a designer, because I’m mother and wife and I have a lot of hobbies, so I think it’s balancing all of that. It’s difficult to find time for yourself, time for your self growth, family, kids, friends, social, life, business. That’s a problem for me, trying to juggle all these things at the same time.
What do you still want to achieve?
I think conquer all the fears that I have. One of things I was afraid of is big animals, and that’s why I started horse riding. Not sure what other fears I have but I’ll find out. More of self-development and self-growth, improve myself in any way I could.
Who has influenced you the most?
I would say my mother because she always encouraged us to go for our dreams. She’s very much into empowerment of every woman that she knows and she made us feel that we can achieve anything we want and never feel like because you’re a girl or an Arab girl that you can’t do what other people can. She was my biggest supporter and now she’s my helper with my designs.
If you could give your younger self one piece of advice, what would it be?
It will all be okay in the end and if it’s not okay then it’s not the end.
What would you tell yourself 10 years from now?
I’m proud of you for being able to juggle your family life and your business, and all your other hobbies in life because it’s very difficult.
Complete this sentence: I’m happy when…
I’m out in nature playing with my kids.
Describe your personal style?
It’s classic with a twist, it has to be fun, it’s can’t be simple basic stuff, it’s all about the material and colour. It has to be colourful, or it can be simple but have like a fun accessory. I very much enjoy accessorising so that’s a key part to my style.
What do you say ‘no’ to?
Judgement, stereotyping, criticism, discrimination.
What book are you reading at the moment?
I’m reading two. Letting Go by David Hawkins and The Light Within.
How do you want the world to remember you?
As a healer, and someone who brought beauty to the world.