This month is International Women’s Day a day to celebrate women, their achievements and feminism’s progress over time! So in honour of INTL women’s day I thought we should focus on some of the talented female designers behind the industry which is driven by women’s engagement.
There has been some great successes for women in the last 12 months as blockbuster films featured strong female characters, women in Saudi have been given the right to drive; the #metoo campaign has begun to tackle sexual harassment at the workplace and a passionate purple was named the colour of 2018.
For International Women’s Day 2018 I wanted to showcase some of the brilliant and local female designers and female led brands.
To start of INTL Women’s Day I thought it would be great to look back at one of the great female designers and founders of one of the best known fashion houses in the world: Coco Chanel. Chanel was one of the French fashion designers to bring the world’s attention back to Paris during WW1 and establishing it as one of the fashion destinations in the world. Chanel was also one of the first fashion designers to use a more flexible jersey fabric which fit more loosely, allowing women more freedom in their clothing. Today Chanel is associated with glamorous accessories: the classic quilted bag, statement logo and no. 5 perfume.
This British designer is probably one of the most famous designers in terms of her political activism. Over the years, McCartney has campaigned for animal rights, breast cancer awareness and against domestic abuse. Famously, none of the McCartney’s designs use any real leather or animal fur, she has managed to successfully design a brand for the conscious consumer which features all the latest fashion and trends. McCartney’s latest collection includes some great patterns pieces and a great selection of women’s blazers. Here are some of my favourite pieces.
SARAH BURTON X Alexander McQueen
Another British designer, Burton has been awarded an Order of the British Empire for her services to the British fashion industry. As well as being appointed the Creative Director for Alexander McQueen, Sarah Burton was asked to designed a very special dress for the royal wedding, none other than the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton’s wedding dress - well deserved global recognition, if you ask me!
MADIYAH AL SHARQI
This local female designer started off her namesake brand in 2012 in the UAE. Al Sharqi has designed her clothing for the modern, young woman and expressed her own grace through her clothing. The clothing is inspiration shifts from each season and includes a collection of beautiful fabrics and sophisticated needlework - this up and coming female designer is definitely one to watch out for!
DANIELA KARNUTS X Safiyaa
The brand SAFiYAA ‘celebrated femininity and all that makes a woman beautiful with unapologetic confidence’ - perfect for International Women’s Day. The designer behind the brand, Daniela Karnuts, has carefully curated a collection of timeless and chic clothing to ensure that women wearing her clothing feels their very best. SAFiYAA fuses traditional couture fabrics and techniques with a modern aesthetic which is completed with some bold use of block colours.
Are you searching for more Middle Eastern designers? Check out the collection of fantastic designers from the Gulf available on Fashiola.
REI KAWAKUBO X Comme des Garçons
Can you believe Comme des Garçons was founded in 1973?! I was shocked to learn that such a modern and innovative brand was founded by Rei Kawakubo so many years ago. The ability to continuously create such innovative designs is down to the female designer, Kawakubo, who never had any formal training in the fashion industry, instead in Fine Art. The latest clothing is definitely a fun and quirky collection which includes deconstructed clothing, geometric shapes and raw creativity. Kawakubo’s own collection of clothing sits alongside some impressive collaborations over the years.
RIHANNA X Fenty
Over the last few years the have been many celebrities trying to get in on the collaboration-action - some more successful than others - notably Beyonce’s Ivy Park. For me there is one female celebrity collaboration which stands out and that is FENTY. Rihanna has also been through a number of different collaborations in her time, starting off with Armani all those years ago, however her biggest fashion achievement to date has been working with Puma. Rihanna was appointed Creative Director of fashion sportswear at Puma back in 2014 and the partnership has been a huge success!
I have enjoyed taking the time to learn a little bit more about the talent behind the brands this International Women's Day 2018, hopefully we can all continue to acknowledge women around the world!