Redefining Fashion in Qatar
It is best to open the door when opportunity comes knocking. That is exactly what Noor Hamad Al-Thani did when she was invited to feature her collection at an Italian fashion week. By Nurulhuda S M Albukhari.
For any fashion designer, getting into the international fashion scene is the ultimate goal. The competition is fierce. Finding success is extremely challenging – especially if you are a young fashion designer from a conservative Islamic nation.
Hailing from Qatar, 29-year-old Noor Hamad Al-Thani will face a myriad of hurdles if she wants to make it big in the fashion world.
The industry will constantly question whether she is able to break away from her nation’s conservative mould to cater designs to modern women across the globe. On top of that she must also consider the reactions of people back home while being true to her religion. ‘I come from a Muslim country and I have to respect my roots and build my future from it,’ she said in a recent interview with Aquila Style. ‘That is what inspired my designs.’
‘But my main goal is to keep carrying my country’s flag flying high in the international fashion capitals.’
Who: Noor Hamad Al-Thani
Collection: Breaking the Ice
Where: Rome, Italy
Theme: An Oriental Night – Using silk and flowing fabrics, Noor Hamad Al-Thani redefines the abaya concept into couture with collective inspiration from nature
Where to Purchase: Her collection can be found at Qatar’s luxurious Salam Store
Noor received the opportunity to prove that she could balance the two worlds when she was invited to display her collection at an Italian fashion week in Rome in 2005.
She was just a fresh face in the fashion industry then. Having only graduated from Virginia Commonwealth University in Qatar (VCUQ) a year before, Noor became the first Qatari designer to feature a collection in Rome.
‘I felt a heavy responsibility on my shoulder as the first Qatari to showcase and participate in a fashion show outside my country,’ she recalled. ‘I also wanted to show the world that Qatar is not just an oil country. However, it was not easy to take this first step especially when the fashion industry is something new in Qatar.
‘Aside from that, I have to be smart in my designs and bring out the elements of my culture and religion.’
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