Sheikha Amal Al Maktoum, Founder and Creative Director of Azzalia Discusses Her New Spring Collection

Lindsay Judge   |   06-04-2023

Sheikha Amal Al Maktoum, founded her womenswear brand Azzalia with the vision of creating collections that encapsulate the spirit of luxury, opulence, and grandeur, bringing together Western and Easter styles to offer clothes that for women of all backgrounds.


Inspired by her two daughters Azza and Alia the Creative Director has found a unique approach to design, using natural materials and couture sewing techniques. Since launching Azzalia, Sheikha Amal has received global recognition for her designs and she was invited to present at London Fashion Week in 2017. 



This year Azzalia is going back to its roots with a special collection launching this Ramadan. ‘Le Jardin Fleuri’ or ‘The Flower Garden’ the brand’s Spring-Summer collection celebrates the ritual of getting dressed up for Ramadan or Eid. Inspired by the vivid hues of blooming spring flowers, the collection features a unique selection of kaftans, abayas, and jumpsuits that are perfect not only for the summer but especially for the Holy Month. Here we find out more about the latest collection and what’s coming up for the brand for the rest of the year.



The last time we spoke was two years ago – tell us about how your brand has been doing since then and some of the progress made.

The last two years were tough because of COVID but things are getting better now, we are thankful that life is returning to normal and we can feel that people are back in a festive mood, they want to dress up and attend more events and weddings. At Azzalia we recently launched a capsule wedding collection called “Wedding Edition” and it has been very successful. In addition, we have been working on launching the Azzalia Application which will be ready by next month. The App will be easy to access and we will be launching a great loyalty program through the app where customers can collect points when purchasing Azzalia products. We will also have the chance to receive feedback from our customers through the app and when customers interact by sharing this feedback, they will be rewarded and receive points. We are looking forward to this big step at Azzalia. 



Where are you at creatively at the moment and what is it that’s inspiring you? 

Actually, when it comes to designing, I am always in a creative mood. It is part of me, I look everywhere for inspiration, and even small moments in life can inspire me. I am inspired when I’m travelling or when I’m shopping, but usually, we have to study the trends ahead of designing and analyse all the popular colours and trending silhouettes, and then based on that, I become inspired. I try to blend trends with my own inspiration and creativity to make sure that my collection has all elements it needs. 




Tell us about your Spring/Summer 2023 collection for Azzalia – the inspiration, the styles, the materials, the colours etc. 

The Azzalia spring summer 2023 collection is called Le Jardin Fleuri which means “The flower garden”. I had the chance to know a family in Brussels who inspired me for this collection. They do amazing handmade embellishments and you can customise them to the shape or colour of your choice. Their embellishments are really beautiful and unique. For this collection, I was inspired by the beautiful floral motifs they had in their collections, we worked with them closely in customising the flowers based on the colour trends. It was a very interesting experience and it is interesting how each piece comes out different from the others. This is the first part of the collection and it is dedicated to Ramadan. It consists of mainly beautiful embellished kaftans that have 3D dimensions, they are very detailed and intricate. We also have printed silk from Spain which was beautifully tailored into kaftans with drapes, as well as simple plain engraved silk pieces which form beautiful kimono-inspired abayas and they were blended with interesting modern lapels which makes them very practical, light and breathable for summer. We are sure that our clients will feel special whenever wearing these pieces. 



Tell us about some of the intricate embroidery and techniques that you use in your creations.

The “Jardin Fleuri” collection’s crepe pieces are simply breathtaking, with intricate hand embroideries created by skilled Brazilian artisans. The 3D motifs add a one-of-a-kind touch to these flowy silhouettes, making Azzalia’s patrons stand out in the crowd. We also incorporated a stunning Mikado fabric to create structured abayas, which feature exquisite hand-painted buttons with floral designs. It is a very diversified collection that can satisfy any woman.



Tell us how you think these designs will fit perfectly into your customer’s Ramadan wardrobe.

we believe that fashion is not just about what you wear, but how it makes you feel. With our Le Jardin Fleuri collection, women will feel empowered, confident, and beautiful wearing those amazing modest pieces that are perfect for Ramadan. The collection will inspire women to embrace their individuality, celebrate their beauty, and bloom like lovely flowers this festive season.



We are seeing many more successful designers from the UAE and the region how would you assess the talent here today?

I think the local fashion industry and local designers have developed in interesting ways. There are some very talented designers that I am proud of as they work very hard to make their achievements stand out in the crowd. I often connect with many local fashion designers, we share knowledge and support each other whenever needed and this shows that truly creative designers have an amazing spirit. On the other hand, some designers concentrate only on making their brand a lucrative business and forget about creativity. This is very sad and I think these designers should recalculate as they will not be able to grow, you can make money for a year or two but then they won’t be able to sustain for a long time, creativity is the key to success. 



What is something you would still like to do with the brand that you haven’t done yet?

There are a lot of things I want to do and I am planning to do for the brand but I’d rather keep it secret for now, but be sure that you will always see something new with Azzalia! 



What has been your biggest achievement so far?

One of my biggest achievements for me is surviving the COVID-19 pandemic. It was a tough time for the fashion industry but I think our clients are looking forward to life after COVID. 



In this issue we celebrate the upcoming Eid holiday – tell us what this occasion means to you and how will you celebrate this year.

Of course, Eid is an amazing celebration, it is part of our culture and our religion, I always like to be surrounded by my family during Eid, it’s important to connect with family members, we spend it visiting our relatives, connecting with them. It has a beautiful festive mood and I love the dressing up part and look forward to this holy celebration. 



Are there any designers or brands that particularly inspire you? 

Many designers inspire me, I like designers that create out-of-the-box, unexpected designs. Anything with a twist always intrigues me. One of my favourite brands is Maison Margiela. I also admire Christopher Kane, Area, and the AWAKE MOD. I love the twist in their designs and the wow factor that comes with their garments, you never know what to expect and I love that. 



What are you currently working on? 

We are currently working on designing the winter collection.



What else is in the pipeline for Azzalia this year?

We are launching the resort and travel collection soon, it is currently in production.