“There is a big difference between having a passion for something and making a business out of it”
When it comes to art and design, Dania Dahleh is driven emotionally throughout the process. She’s also living proof of her own motto, ‘If you believe, you can achieve.’ Read on to learn what sparked her interest in fashion, what trends to look out for in 2018 and, most importantly, where to find her creations!
Please introduce yourself to our readers:
I am Dania Dahleh, a Jordanian fashion designer. I was born on 15th March 1987 in Saudi Arabia. I’m a mother of three little boys and the owner/co-founder of Dania Dahleh Fashion House in Amman, Jordan. I’m an artist by education, and a fashion designer by passion and experience.
Tell us about your education:
I planned my journey in fashion and arts from a young age, starting with private lessons in art and drawings at the age of 15.
I graduated from the University of Jordan in 2008, a BA of Fine Arts. I believed I needed to strengthen my abilities in drawing and extend my knowledge about the anatomy of human figures and colour theory, so I could start my career in art and design on a solid foundation.
I continued my studies in fashion in London (Central Saint Martins) where I earned the necessary fundamentals and skills needed for my career in fashion.
In early 2010, I joined one of the best finishing schools in Switzerland (Institut Villa Pierrefeu) for additional studies in languages, etiquette and protocol to help in the business world in dealing with multicultural societies.
What sparked your interest in fashion?
As a young girl, I was always interested in arts, fashion and dressing up. However, the turning point was actually when I designed my wedding dress at the atelier of the Lebanese Designer, Abed Mahfouz (every girl knows how important that dress is). At that point I believed I had a special talent.
What made you take fashion more seriously and make a career out of it?
The feedback and positive reactions I received from my family, friends and supporters at that time, plus my love and passion for this field, made me believe and be certain that this was what I wanted to do for the rest of my life.
When did you decide to start your own label?
After getting my education and practical experience, I thought the time was right to be one of the first to start my own label as a couturier in Amman, Jordan.
Haute couture vs. ready-to-wear – which captures your heart the most?
If I am speaking from the heart, Haute couture captures my heart the most for the simple reason that it includes a lot of details and there’s a big space to show my creativity in embroidery art.
How has your work evolved since you began your own label?
I started my career from a very young age when I was around 22 years old. Definitely, the experiences and exposure I get every year, reflects on my work. I was able to create my own blue print and identity; hence the change in fashion trends over the last 10 years.
How was the start? What challenges did you have to face and how did you overcome them?
Each stage of my journey had its own challenges, whether it was business related obstacles (such as financial matters, finding the right team members and suppliers) or the personal challenges. The challenges continue, but because of the team I created at work and my personal support system, I am always able to reinforce my ability to overcome the obstacles and believe in myself more and more.
What do you love most about the fashion design business?
Fashion design is what makes me alive; it’s what creates my identity and confidence; it’s a language I use to express myself to the world.
How is your work received internationally?
So far I am so happy with my accomplishments, regionally, nationally and internationally. But I truly believe that the best yet to come.
Describe your designs in three words.
Edgy, sophisticated and dreamy.
What usually inspires you when working on a new collection?
I really can’t give you one answer because my inspiration can come from so many things. However, what I can assure you is that I need to be driven emotionally throughout my designing process. I always depend on the ideas and messages that I want to share throughout my designs.
This may be an impossible question to answer but do you have a favourite collection?
Yes, this is so difficult to answer! Each collection is so dear to my heart. It’s like asking a mother to choose her favourite child.
What are your favourite fashion trends for 2018?
A. Street style evolution.
B. The mixture of patterns and colour embroidery into ready-to-wear pieces.
C. Over-sized jackets and outfits.
D. Men’s style suits into women’s wear.
E. The blend of simplicity with edginess all in harmony.
Where can we find your designs?
Our base location is in Jordan where our boutique is located but thanks to social media, we are one click away:
Instagram page : @daniadahleh
What is the biggest lesson that you have learned since you started your company?
There is a big difference between having a passion for something and making a business out of it.
What’s your motto?
If you believe, you can achieve!
What’s your future vision for the DANIA DAHLEH label?
Dania Dahleh’s brand vision is to be one of the known fashion brands around the globe. Another big dream is to have our own showroom in Paris.
What advice would you give to young designers?
For all young designers or startups: believe in yourself, do your homework and never give up!
Your message for us at CP magazine:
Thank you CP magazine for giving me this beautiful opportunity to be featured in this issue. Best of luck to everyone working behind the scenes to make this magazine one of the leading magazines in the region.