Infatuated by old movie stars, 29-year-old Egyptian fashion designer Maha Abdul Rasheed seems poised to be the Middle East’s next hit in vintage design. eniGma’s Yosra Shohayeb gets to know more about the creative mind behind the clothing line, Bambah, who has dressed style icon, Amal Clooney among others.
Abdul Rasheed, who has been living in Dubai for 18 years, has a BSc in Business Administration and has completed fashion courses in Styling and Merchandising at the London College of Fashion. Four and a half years ago, along with her brother Hussein, she started her two boutiques, Bambah and The Zoo, collecting vintage fashion pieces along the way.
Tell us more about your Bambah Ready-to-Wear clothing line and what inspired you to start it.
Bambah RTW focuses on creating feminine clothing with soft rounded shapes and full flowing skirts to ‘bring back beauty’. Our style pays homage to shapes of the 50’s using decadent fabrics and layering to give beautiful hourglass shapes that ooze opulence. The Bambah silhouette focuses on perpetuating the hourglass shape reminiscent of icons such as Grace Kelly, Ava Gardner, and Sophia Loren which inspire and influence our signature look. Nipped in waists and sweetheart necklines mixed with sumptuous jacquards and layers of tulle are showcased next to simpler styles which can be worn throughout the day. Grace Kelly has been my main source of inspiration for this first collection. I find her very elegant, very feminine, and extremely confident, all personal traits I believe make a woman look and feel beautiful in any outfit.
Describe the ideal woman to wear your designs.
The Bambah woman is the ultra-chic and modern Middle Eastern woman. She is very confident, has very fine taste, follows and sets the latest trends, and appreciates good craftsmanship and high quality pieces. She loves to dress up, experiment with fashion, and what she wears is a reflection of who she is. She loves to laugh, have fun and enjoys life.
What do you think sets your brand apart from other similar brands?
My main objective with this collection is to create pretty dresses for pretty ladies. I wanted to make beautiful silhouettes, using the best quality of fabrics and the finest tailoring. The fabric itself is unique in the sense of its custom made print, making it exclusive to Bambah. I have also researched the world to find the best quality silks which I source directly from a silk plant in India. I have also invested in a team of local seamstresses that hand make every piece in house. This reassures my customers that they are investing in a unique piece of the finest quality.
Why did you choose the name Bambah?
Bambah means ‘pink’ in Egyptian Arabic and it was a term commonly used in the 1940s to symbolize happiness and joy. It also happens to be my favorite color.
What is your signature piece so far?
The Bambah Bow Tube, because of its dramatic appeal. Ladies in the Middle East are super-stylish and are taking a lot of risks with fashion nowadays, and I feel this is a complement to their style and wardrobe.