Dubai: High fashion is developing fast in the Middle East. Emirati fashion designer Abeer Al Suwaidi is best known for her trend-setting work with abayas, and for transforming the traditional garment into contemporary works of art.
Almost 10 years ago, when Abeer first began designing abayas – using it as a canvas to express her creativity – she was quick to grasp that the culturally symbolic attire could make a strong fashion statement, while staying true to its roots.
During an exasperating search for ‘different’ abayas, she realised that while everything else had changed or evolved, the world of abayas remained static, and the same. It also dawned on her that there was no one-stop-shop to showcase local and regional designers. This, and praise for her handiwork, led to the launch of her signature designs, and her designer boutique, USH.
Driven by creativity and originality, Abeer soon set about launching new concepts, styles and materials, many of which have now become the norm by way of imitation and adaptation by peers. Among her many trend-setting innovations, she has introduced the world to the skinny abaya, illustrated abaya, abayas fitted with corsets, and abayas made of cotton, jersey and knotted fabrics.
She has also introduced vibrant colour, spikes, epaulettes and harnesses to the abaya. Abeer believes that fashion is an essential part of every woman’s life, and expressing oneself through clothes is a natural extension of both person and personality.
Her approach is unrestrained, her influences are international, and her designs incorporate both fusion and futurism.
She personally admires the cutting-edge work of international designers Comme des Garçons, Yohji Yamamoto, AF Vandevorst. ABEER AL SUWAIDI has won regular applause at the Dubai Fashion Week since 2009 (earlier as USH Design), and is stocked at USH – Dubai, House of Fraser – Abu Dhabi, Symphony and Love Fashion in South Africa. As a designer, Abeer continues to add her own dash of flavour and a dose of fun to the fashion industry.