Words: José Berrocoso
“Social media helped to launch the modest fashion trend. But not it’s less a trend and a way of dressing”
Amal Al-Raisi captures the essence of fusing tradition with modernity through a brand dedicated to honoring Arab traditions with a touch of couture. A quest to incorporate a piece of Omani heritage in every collection that exudes fluid styles with intricate details, defines the ethos of Amal Al-Raisi.
Born and raised in Oman, Amal Al-Raisi studied Business Management at Sultan Qaboos University before launching her fashion label in 2007. In 2010, Amal opened her multi brand boutique ‘Dar Al-Aseel’ in Muscat, which houses her collections along with a curated selection of regional designers. Amal Al-Raisi is now available at a number of high end retailers in the Middle East and beyond representing the talent of the region.
Transcending seasons, Amal Al-Raisi is synonymous for its feminine aesthetic of timeless silhouettes and exquisite embellishments symbolising the women of today.
CP MAGAZINE: Tell us a little bit of your journey.
Amal Al Raisi: I never thought that fashion would one day be my career. I always had a passion for it but considered it more of a hobby. It wasn’t until I was getting married and couldn’t find the right local designer who understood what I wanted, so I decided to work on my own dress. I received many compliments on my dress so family and friends wanted me to help them make their own designs. That was the starting point.
From there I started designing traditional Omani dresses, abayas and jalabiyas and in 2010 I opened my multi brand boutique in Muscat, stocking my collections and other regional brands. In 2015, I decided to venture into ready-to-wear and it was in 2016 that I secured my first international retailer. Since then I have steadily grown my brand and increased retailers and clients across the region.
CP: How would you describe your design style?
AAA: Feminine, sophisticated and classic.
CP: What sources do you use to find out about fashion trends?
AAA: I prefer to design styles that transcend seasons rather than follow trends. But I do look to trend forecasters, runway trends and social media for colour and silhouette inspiration.
CP: Your collections are often described as “feminine” and “pretty”. How do you perceive these two terms?
AAA: My collections are described as feminine and pretty from the cuts, colour palette and embellishments but through my designs, I hope to empower women and encourage them to follow their dreams.
CP: You created your own very successful fashion brand. What were the challenges you faced while building your brand?
AAA: There have been many challenges, I am constantly learning which is also part of the journey! But I would have to say the current pandemic has probably been the biggest and toughest challenge so far. It has taken an unexpected turn in each one of our lives by completely changing our day-to-day activities. We have had to make many adjustments and reassess our strategies, which has been difficult. However, I am grateful for my health and my family and I remain positive for the future.
CP: What was the inspiration behind the AW20 collection?
AAA: The beautiful khors and mountains of Musandam inspired me. It’s one of my favourite places to visit; the rugged scenery is just breath taking.
CP: What do you think about the fact that modest fashion is kind of trendy right now?
AAA: The rise of social media helped to launch the modest fashion trend. But now I think it’s less a trend and a way of dressing. Modest doesn’t just have to be for a certain religion or culture, women the world over can dress in this style and interpret it in their own way.
CP: Can you describe the feeling you get when you see someone wearing your dresses at an event?
AAA: When I see a client wearing one of my designs, it fills me with so much joy. It really makes all the hard work worthwhile.
CP: Who would be your dream person to dress?
AAA: The Eminent Sayyida Ahad bint Abdullah Al Busaidi, who is a role model to every Omani woman. I adore her personal style and I hope to always have her liking my style.