What do women want? Lebanese born, Dubai based designer Aiisha Ramadan seems to know–couture that makes us feel feminine but not frilly, sexy but not trashy. Her popular creations fulfil these criteria perfectly, making her one of the world’s leading female couture designers.
Petite, charismatic and always with a broad smile lightening her face, Ramadan won the Young Designer of the Year Award in 2000, presented by Swarovski, and also gained the Gr8! Women Achiever Awards 2011. She was named as one of the 30 Most Awesome Women in the Arab World in 2009 by Arabian Woman Magazine, and has recently partnered on a major design project with Revlon.
The busy mother of one is a favourite with royals in the Middle East as well as international celebrities such as Nicole Scherzinger, Christina Aguilera, Ashanti and Paris Hilton.
Here, she talks about changing feelings, Swiss threads and farming in Lebanon.
Which natural materials do you like working with the most?
Naturally, silk. I’m not too fond of cotton unless it was mixed with other materials and I love working with futuristic materials as they serve a different purpose with the construction of the garment
Have you ever deliberately incorporated natural or recycled materials into your work? If so, what was the result?
I have experimented with textiles made of a variety of yarns mostly natural and the result was normally pleasing. Recycled materials are on my mind but once I find the perfect texture as in the end it has to compliment my design essence. However, I’ve recently experimented with some eco-friendly textiles from Switzerland and the result has been incredible.
Has becoming a mother changed your perspective on life?
Everyday I’m developing new feelings. I still feel like I’m observing the picture from a very short distance so I haven’t yet gotten the chance to see the general. I’m still very new to the motherhood world but truly looking forward to it.
What’s the most positive thing you do for the environment in your daily life?
I use whatever paper surface I can find in order to sketch be it a newspaper, a used paper, an old sketch. I try to use as less paper as possible
What’s your greatest eco ‘sin’?
Using polyester from time to time
What are you proudest of so far in your career?
Every milestone overwhelms me with mixed emotions. I will address the positive part here, which is feeling proud of working day and night to have achieved what I can share with my fans.
What are your favourite ‘green’ skincare, food, home or fashion brands?
The best green skincare brands are the ones you find in your kitchen! As for furniture there’s plenty, one brand I admire a lot is Origami. When it comes to food, I really count on my husband’s cooking so we buy our organic ingredients as well as grow them in our farm in Lebanon and cook our own food with them.
Which high profile person trying to make a difference do you most admire, and why?
Cate Blanchet. She ‘greenovated’ her house with solar panels and rainwater tanks, but also actively works to raise awareness about climate change and global poverty . I also admire Al Gore for all the obvious reasons.
When and where are you happiest?
For which cause would you die, if any?
My family’s safety, then come children in any status.
Which environmental issues are most important to you?
Saving our water resources.
What’s the main thing you think we all need to do to ensure a better future?
Spend as much as we need, not want.
For more information, please click here. Main image: about.me//aiisha.com