Interviews – Part 4

Creating an exclusive outlet for exotic abayas in London is easier said than done.Anyone looking at Zainab’s eyes could see how determined is the young, lively and petite future entrepreneur could be. Her dream, she shared, is to become a well known fashion designer within the London’s best elite.


MyRefractions met Zainab Danial AlSalah, a 22 year student of International Finance from Saudi Arabia at the Verandah Cafe in Lagoon, Amwaj Islands, Bahrain. Present with us was Hamra Alam, the Founder CEO and Fashion Designer who owns the label by the same name. Zainab sais she was inspired by Elie Saab during our conversation that mostly flowed around the history of Abayas since the early 70’s.

During the late 90’s, abayas started to appear with little features. A slightly bordered, front open abaya with milder designs is all that one could see during those period. Though abayas with embroidery and exquisite paintings have been in the light for a decade or so, they are popular among women who wish to express themselves. During all these times, the basic colour of an abaya remained the same – black. Coloured abayas were seen as a no-no even among the forward thinking women. Soon the time would come when abayas would be considered as a fashion statement. As customisation reached their best, abayas became moulded to a personal statement depicting tastes and aspirations.

With her own designs of abayas, Zainab, together with the gentle guidance from her teacher Hamra Alam, is moving towards achieving her ambition at a faster pace. “Younger generation does have an eye for fashion while keeping modesty beautifully intact”, says Hamra to an agreeing Zainab. Hamra is highly confident that the highly creative Saudi women would occupy the front row seats at Milan, Paris and London fashion shows and excel in their creations. She also wished Zainab to be the next best fashion designer in London soon.

Zainab was delighted to share with us her sketch book… from the very first lines she learned from Hamra to the finished designs. Come, watch her display her creations at the Four Seasons Hotel Bahrain in a TBC event by end June 2015.



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