Arwa Al Ammari FashionStar Dubai One Tv Winner
The past few years have been exceptional for Arwa Al Ammari.by ESMOD Dubai News , the 11.05.16 in
For her prize, Al Ammari, who is a graduate of Esmod Dubai, received a contract worth Dh500,000 to create a capsule collection for online retailer Namshi.com
The Riyadh-born fashion designer, whose passion for painting and sculpture led to her making clothes for herself and friends, launched her label, ArAm, in 2013. The next year, she won the Emerging Talent award at the Grazia Middle East style awards. Then last year, she was invited to take part in the inaugural Middle East version of the American reality show Fashion Star.Al Ammari was crowned the winner, after she beat 11 contestants from across the region in a high-fashion-stakes season that aired weekly on Dubai One. But, she says, she almost didn’t make it on the show. “I was called to take part but it was going to be a big commitment, about three months,” she recalls. “We were going to film in Beirut and Dubai, and I was going to be away from home for a long stretch of time. So I hesitated.”But determination trumped everything in the end.“I thought to myself ‘I was going to represent Saudi Arabia on such a big platform, not just as a designer but as a woman’. It was a great opportunity and I had a lot to prove,” she says. “And it wasn’t going to be a once-in-a-lifetime experience.”
“She’s a woman, she’s a designer and she’s taken her brand globally and succeeded so much. That’s an inspiration. And for an aspiring designer like me, there was no better mentor.”But filming for the show was not easy.“We were in the studio for 15 hours a day filming,” remembers Al Ammari. “It was physically demanding. In the two-and-a-half months we filmed the show, we created 10 collections. That’s like five years of work for designers. But it became progressively easier.”Each week, designers were given a theme for a collection by the head mentor. Acra was assisted by designers Hana Bin Abdul Salam and Ramzi Tabiat, both of whom were assigned a team of designers to mentor. Each week, the designer with the least favoured work by the panel was eliminated. The 12 contestants were all from Arabic-speaking countries, including the UAE, Egypt, Tunisia and Lebanon.The entire season of Fashion Star Arabic was filmed before it went on air.
“I was consistently receiving great comments from the mentors Reem, Hana and Ramzi. It was one of the mentors who said my work reminded them of John Galliano’s,” she says.“But I wasn’t holding my breath or anything. I wasn’t thinking about the results. I don’t think any of the contestants were. It was competitive but we were all more like friends. We helped and consulted each other. That was one of the best things about the show. Now I feel like I have a family in every country in the Middle East.” The first batch sold out two days after she was announced as the winner on April 6. Another Ramadan collaboration is in the works.So many doors have opened since then, she says.“The label is more recognised and we’ve had so many requests for collaborations and retail partnerships. I have also been made the ambassador of the Arab Fashion Council and will showcase my next collection at the Arab Fashion Week,” she says. “I am also working on a shoe collection. I want to do it from an artistic point of view. There are very few Arab shoe designers.”Al Ammari describes her customer as a woman who likes to be contemporary and elegant, and someone who attracts attention wherever she goes.“I think more and more people in the region are demanding local designers,” she says. “They want clothes that reflect the flavour of the region with international standards.”Go get yoursArwa Al Ammari’s capsule collection is available exclusively on Namshi.com.