Nada and Noor Alawi are two talented Bahraini sisters with a love of fashion and a true appreciation of art. I had the opportunity to meet one of the sisters, co-founder and creative director of luxury brand Annada, Nada Alawi.
Their presentation collection display in Riyadh’s multi-brand boutique MIRA Y MANO, offers the chance to see their work as well as many other unique brands from Arabian designers from different parts of the region.
Nada talked about the latest fashion trends in the Middle East. The Annada brand immediately caught my attention with a big selection of bright colours and amazing silky abayas!
Annada (@annadaonline) is inspired by fine artwork and the colourful spirit that transpires through each brushstroke, creating a stunning fusion of art, fashion and lifestyle.
How did you become interested in designing your collection of clothes and accessories?
Nada Alawi has always had a passion for art. It was a form of alternate reality that she found comfort in. She has always been passionate about being surrounded by all things colour and beauty. One of the elements of art that she is drawn to is how it can alter our moods for the better and illuminate our world.
After visiting countless galleries, sisters Nada and Noor (founders of Annada) thought it would be selfish not to promote the beautiful Middle Eastern art in our region so they decided to bring the gallery world to retail! As much as they loved art they were equally in love with fashion and the idea of expressing your identity or interests through the way you dress.
Do you remember your first product?
Square silk scarves. The first collection featured artworks of Bahraini artists, Abbas Al Mosawi and Hasan Haidar. The first scarf ever was ‘The Secret Garden’ by Abbas Al Mosawi. This was an illustration of floral patterns from a 17th century Persian carpet depicting blossoms, flower buds and surrounding leaves.
How do you find new painters for collaboration?
Annada started off with local Bahraini artists. One of the most renowned was Abbas Al Mosawi who is the first artist Annada collaborated with when it was first established in 2011. The brand dedicated its platform to providing an outlet for artists from the Middle East to transfer their art beyond canvas and integrate it in people’s everyday lives by creating wearable art. Today Annada has collaborated with artists from the Middle East as well as worldwide entities from the Netherlands to New York.
In relation to the quality of fabrics for abayas, what are the benefits a woman can have when she is wearing an Annada abaya?
All Annada abayas are made of silk. The lightweight characteristic of the silk and its smoothness makes the abayas airy and perfect for our weather. One of our favourite things about the abayas is the fact that they’re reversible. This makes the abayas very practical to wear – one side with the art print and the other side with a solid colour. It has hidden pockets too! Annada women make a statement with their abayas. The art speaks and the woman walks with femininity and romance when art is embracing her.
Where can we find your boutiques in the Middle East?
Our flagship store is located in Seef Mall in Bahrain. However, our products can be found in other retail stores:
(Bahrain) Saks Fifth Avenue/Bahrain Museum/Bahrain Duty Free/Virgin Megastore/Jashanmall/Milk Concept store/Papermoon
(UAE) Louvre Abu Dhabi/O’de Rose
(KSA) Mira Y Mano/Lomar/Desert Design/Papermoon
(Oman) Dar Al Aseel
How long have you been in the fashion industry?
What, for you, is a perfect weekend?
Relax by the beach with a good book or magazine, with great food and great company. Yes, I want it all!
What are the trends in colours for 2019?
A lot of tropical influences and happy tones in pinks and oranges. A lot of white and ivory too.
Your message to CP Magazine readers?
We hope they visit our Instagram page and our website (www.annadaonline.com) and let us know their thoughts about our collections. We wish them lots of love, laughter and total joy in life.