By Arwa Lodhi
Any fashion brand worth its salt knows one thing for sure: sustainability is the future.
Even though this is pretty much a given in most English-speaking countries, it seems the wealthier nations of the Middle East have been slow to cotton on to this message; after all, air conditioners blasting 24/7, high octane sports cars, heated pools and exotic pets are still pretty much the norm there.
But one bold female designer based in the UAE has a different vision.
Born and raised in Dubai, Khulood Thani is the first UAE national to hold a degree in Fashion Management and Marketing from ESMOD Paris, the oldest sartorial institute in France. She also studied at London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martins, and received a Masters degree in Strategic Marketing from the University of Wollongong and a B.A. in Marketing Communication from Zayed University in Dubai.
Perhaps due to her experience in Europe, today, the deeply talented Khulood Bint Thani knows that green is the new black, and she’s bringing her message not only to Dubai, where she is based, but also back to Paris, where she showed her collection for the first time this past fashion week.
Bint Thani knows that the likes of high end shops and designers like Net-a-Porter and Michael Kors are directing their businesses towards a more sustainable ethic, and she has followed suit with her AW/19 collection, entitled Bauhaus Influences. A seasonal palette demonstrates strokes of bold reds and greens which contrast with more a industrial grey-blue, silver and black and white that express the usage of the different materials during the Bauhaus movement.
Inspired by art and architecture since its inception, Bint Thani offers curated collections that amplify the brand’s DNA of modest yet feminine, wearable styles for an international, design-orientated customer.
The latest collection by the designer features clever layering through asymmetric and wrap silhouettes, with adaptable pieces also providing versatility. The collection’s avant-garde accents and flattering plays on proportion offer the addition of effortless soft tailoring and directional dresses.
Our exclusive interview with the designer, below, expands further in the Bint Thani concept.
What inspired you to start using sustainable fabrics for your collections?
It’s not really something new to me – it has been in my mind for awhile – but I think everything just worked together at the right time, as I was doing the Azyame Fashion Entrepreneur Programme, managed by Irthi Contemporary Craft Council, and we touched on sustainability, I started double checking with our main suppliers about who would have certain certifications and I found some. I’m glad it all worked well for our recently presented collection.
Why did you choose Japan to source your textiles?
Japan has been always associated with high quality, excellent customer service – plus I was able to source the right certified fabrics from there. I would say it wasn’t really easy to find the right suppliers but after intensive visits to sourcing exhibitions I found some who has the OEKO-TEX ® certification, which means all the fabrics were tested for harmful substances and produced sustainably in accordance with OEKO-TEX ® guidelines.
Who constructs your garments, and where?
Our sampling process and development happens only in my own design studio in Dubai, while our final production of the collections happens at CMT (Cut, Measure, Trim) units in Dubai.
Which other sustainable fashion designers do you most admire?
There are not many designers that I know of who have been focusing on merging the design aspect with the sustainable fabric that have inspired me to work on this, especially in Dubai.
What was the reaction to your work like during your first show at Paris Fashion Week?
I’m glad that we got the chance to present our collection with AQ Market Showroom during the PFW; we got valuable insights from the international buyers on what they liked most and what areas we will need to improve for our next participation.
Our Top Picks from the Paris Fashion Week Collection
Did you enjoy this post? Want to show your gratitude? Please support us on Patreon!