Saudi-born designer Arwa Alkadi founded her fashion brand AMARAH in 2019 with a vision of portraying new-age romance through a contemporary lens.
Bringing together her passion and creativity Arwa decided to give up her career in finance to follow her love for fashion and design, creating pieces that would blend traditional Arabic culture with today’s modern aesthetic. Featuring a mix of contrasts, her collections present an understated aesthetic through elevated silhouettes, luxurious fabrics and refined details, building a modern wardrobe that emanates femininity and embraces the bold spirit of every woman.
Alkadi’s brand was handpicked to showcase at the “Saudi 100 Brands” exhibition. Hosted by The Fashion Commission of Saudi Arabia the event showcased a curated selection of clothing and accessories from 100 selected Saudi designers. Helping to elevate Saudi Arabia’s position as a creative hub for Arab designers the event received global attention, highlighting the impressive talent in The Kingdom. As Alkadi presents her Ramadan collection for AMARAH we find out more about what’s in store for the brand moving forward.
Tell us about how your brand AMARAH came to life.
My first collection came to life in 2019 as it stemmed from my admiration for creating an aura of a new age through modern, experimental designs that exude a bold aesthetic portrayed through a contemporary lens.
What is the vision for your brand?
The vision for my brand entails a desire to build a brand that evokes timeless fashion, effortless elegance, and a modern aesthetic.
Tell us about your latest designs and what inspired them.
My latest Ramadan 2023 collection draws inspiration from the beauty of the sea, as it blends romantic details with modern occasion wear. Referencing the ever-changing patterns and curves of the waves, the collection exudes understated elegance with a contemporary flair. The colour palette is inspired by seashells, deep blue waters and sunsets on the horizon. The themes of the collection are brought to life in shades of sea mist, aquamarine, blush and sand. Silk is the core fabric used in the collection; emphasising the fluid nature of the waves while textured linen represents the unique patterns of seashells.
You were selected to showcase at the Saudi 100 brands event – tell us about how this event helped to raise your profile in the region.
The Saudi 100 Brands event has raised my profile and has allowed for great traction and awareness around the “Beauty Escape” piece that I presented. Through capturing the diversity and vision behind the distinctive aesthetics of Saudi Arabia, I’ve created an ode to the country’s cultural wonders, while honouring the heritage. Highlighting the pride I feel for my culture “Beauty Escape” has acted as a catalyst in creating cultural awareness and bonds across the region.
How do you think womenswear in the region has taken on a more contemporary look in recent years?
In recent years, contemporary looks have taken the lead in introducing authentic art that is dear to the heart. In exploration and experimentation, contemporary fashion has paved the way for innovative, like-minded designers who share a similar perspective, in regards to what it means to be contemporary.
What are your favourite fabrics to work with?
My favourite fabrics to work with are silk and linen.
What is your take on the fashion industry in the Middle East in general and how brands are represented here?
The fashion scene in the Middle East is continuously growing and evolving. The region paints a portrait of never-ending possibility and innovation that exudes timeless inspiration for artisans. I believe that brand representation plays a role in creating international connections which allow for exciting collaborations amongst like-minded artists.
What more would you like to see being done to support brands in the region and help them to get recognised on an international level?
The key to authentically supporting brands and increasing their recognition would be creating a welcoming environment, where communities of like-minded people can bounce ideas off of one another.
What are some of the brands or designers that inspire you?
I am inspired by Maria Grazia Chiuri Dior’s Creative Director. In terms of brands, I am also inspired by Chanel, Prada and Elie Saab as all these designers remain timeless in their work, yet invite a sense of never-ending discovery.
What is your first memory of fashion growing up?
My first memory of fashion would have to be playing dress-up with my sister Laila. I think the rush of creativity and endless innovation really sparked something in my heart to continue on this path to Fashion and design.
What is something you would still like to do?
I’d always wanted to create, whether that be through designing garments or flower arranging. Anything where I can bring my ideas to life and give meaning to my work.
In this issue we are celebrating the Holy Month of Ramadan – tell us about what this month means to you.
Ramadan means dedication. It means giving back to the community and tuning in with your inner self. It is a time of peace, tranquillity, and self-evolution.
What are some memories you have of this month growing up?
The beauty of spirituality has always been dear to my heart and soul’s purpose. Ramadan is a time to pause, to look within, and embrace the comfort of having a clear mind and spirit. It is a time dedicated to family and some of my fondest memories are of going to my grandparent’s house every day. We would eat iftar together, go to the mosque, as well as dress up in kaftans that I personally would make. And of course, the sound of the Athen is still so vivid to me, it will always be a beautiful sound.
What is the professional motto that you live by?
“Trust yourself. Embody your truth, develop your persona, for the benefit and love that you have for yourself”
Where would you like your brand to be in five years?
I would like it to become a lifestyle brand that illustrates an extraordinary experience alongside an ambience of being able to connect to fashion, nature, and the self.