Bahrain is fast becoming of the Gulf’s centre of couture. Fatima Faisal checks out five women changing the face of fashion in the kingdom
Sima Ahmed Bahraini Sima Ahmed studied fashion in Italy and has participated in shows across the world from London, Paris and Milan to Muscat and Beirut. Luxurious and feminine, Sima’s designs revel in textures and fabrics, with collections that reflect a seductive world of magical tales with a delightfully oriental touch. Sima Ahmed currently has one store located in Muharraq with a partner operation in Doha and plans to expand across the region. For more information, visit www.simasfashion.com, or 17 330 482.
Khaleda Rajab Khaleda is a new kid on the design block in Bahrain, and is one of the country’s brightest fashion hopes. Educated at Suffolk University, Boston, Khaleda has been designing dresses and outfits for herself and her friends since the mid-1990s and already has a huge portfolio of sexy and savvy modern designs to her name. Since opening Khaleda Rajab Haute Couture in Falcon Tower in the Diplomatic Area, Rajab’s name has started to become a byword for fashionable among the country’s jet set. Recently, the designer took her work to the next level by manufacturing her own textiles. For more information, visit www.khaledarajab.com, or call the boutique on 17 275 527.
Adeeba Al Khan Adeeba Al Khan, the founder of Anmar Couture, is one of Bahrain’s best loved designers. Blending Islamic dress with detail and design elements from both east and west, Adeeba has developed a loyal following in Bahrain and beyond. She first started sketching designs as a teenager and, after getting married, she continued to develop her interest. She started her retail operations in 1999. Retaining the idea of extravagance within the confines of Islamic dress, she has created a look that is both high class and high fashion. With a great collection of thoops and abayas, her designs are highly prized across the region. For more information, check out www.anmarcouture.com or call 17 211 499.
Kubra Al Qaseer One of the biggest and most recognisable names in Bahrain’s fashion industry, Kubra Al Qaseer, combines traditional Arabic styles with a touch of flamboyance and modern Western influences. A traditionalist at heart, Kubra Al Qaseer releases new designs each year from her headquarters Kubra Al Qaseer Atelier, located in East Riffa. Her clothes have been featured in fashion shows around the world, being exhibited alongside luminaries such as John Paul Gaultier and Chanel in London. Kubra has a number of boutiques throughout Bahrain under the brand of Al Sa’fa. Emblematic of Bahrain’s growing presence in the fashion world and its increasing prominence in Islamic fashion, Al Qaseer is considered the founder of Bahrain’s vibrant fashion scene. For more information and enquiries, call: 17 666 776, Riffa branch, 17 583 007, Seef Mall branch, 17 171 813, Bahrain City Centre Branch.
Shaima bint Abdulla Al Mansoori Designer Shaikha Shaima bint Abdulla Al Mansoori is one of the most promising fashion designers working in the Gulf today, with her label Mansoori Couture. A graduate of the London College of Fashion, Mansoori was selected by the Ministry of the Exterior to represent the Kingdom in one of the largest fashion shows in Italy amongst the world’s leading fashion designers. Since then, the designer has shown her work at some of the most prestigious shows around the world, including Beirut Fashion Week. Most recently, she participated in Fashion for a Good Cause, a charitable event in support of the Mother and Child’s Welfare Society, whose president is her mother-in-law, Shaikha Hind bint Salman Al-Khalifa. For more information, visit www.mansoori.com.