In fashion design, if a designer wants to stand out, they should offer something fresh and original. Surely, Amira Al-Maani is that kind fashion designer.
Featuring creations that mirror her Muslim heritage and her sophisticated taste, Amira is slowly making a name for herself in the Brisbane fashion scene.
We saw that you were featured in Style Magazines; it was an awesome read. How did you get the feature?
Kim who was a contributor at Style magazine got in contact with me after seeing my designs. She wrote to me saying that she would like to do a feature and photo shoot for the magazine. We met up and came up with the photo shoot details over coffee and I was very honoured to have been featured.
Funny story, the night before my graduation fashion show for Australian Institute of Creative Design, I was watching the music video for SAFIA’s song ‘My love is gone’. From there, I decided that my next collection would be Bedouin themed. The Caftans were influenced by the shapes and designs of the Middle Eastern region. Some of the garments had Palestinian style cross-stitch on the sleeves or waist of the pants that were made in Jordan. I wanted to fuse the traditional cross-stitch with modern fabrics and textures for a fresh look.
Do you have upcoming shows that we need to know? If yes, what should we expect or how can you describe it?
I don’t have any upcoming shows, but I do have a few secret projects in the works. Keep an eye out!
Who or what is your great influence in your designs? Do you have a designer that you look up to?
I have always loved the glamour of Haute Couture. My favourite designers do the most amazing gowns. My favourites are Elie Saab, Zuhair Murad, Ralph & Russo to name a few. For my graduate collection, I went all out and just went for glam! My gowns were beaded all over. One actually had little mirror sequins on the hems and all through the back. That one shimmered like crazy on the runway.
What type of women should wear Amira Al-maani Designs? Can they be worn by non-Muslim women?
I don’t call myself a modest fashion designer because I don’t like the idea of being pigeonholed into one type of style. My clothes aren’t limited to only one type of woman. Anyone can wear Amira Al-Maani designs. My designs are a little more modest than others’, mostly because I design what I would love to wear and I do wear modest clothing.
For your growing fanbase, where can they buy your designs?
For my last collection, I sold my design at the CANVAS markets. Next year (2018) I am planning on selling from online and having a studio at home.
What are the challenges in terms of Muslim women making it into the fashion industry especially in bringing the hijab into their designs?
I am very lucky that right now modest fashion and hijabi fashion is very hyped. There are so many brands that are tapping into the Muslim market including many hijabi bloggers and models. I haven’t found it difficult because it’s not such a foreign concept anymore. The hype will definitely calm down, but I don’t think hijabi/modest fashion is going anywhere.
I understand that you took up Advanced Diploma of Applied Fashion Design and Technology here at the Australian Institute of Creative Design. How did the college help you as a designer?
Before coming to college, I had no previous fashion skills whatsoever. I didn’t know how to sew, pattern make, use illustrator or actually illustrate. I studied a year of psychology at QUT before deciding to study fashion design. I always wanted to be a fashion designer and create beautiful clothes but didn’t know anything about it. Honestly, college taught me a lot. I would recommend anyone wanting to go into fashion to study it first!
Don’t leave the paperwork till the last minute! We all do it, and we all suffer. Also, go big for your graduate collection and fashion show. People will remember who you are and what you’ve done.
What an inspiring young lady. A true inspiration not just to young Muslims around Australia, but to everyone; that going for your dreams coupled with hard work and dedication are the keys to success. Especially in the fashion design world, you need to hustle if you want to be remembered.
Also, her last words are so important. Don’t procrastinate with your paperwork, guys! Remember, procrastination is a thief of time; it is the greatest enemy of success. You think you have so much time in your hands, but when the final day comes, you’re already cramming to finish your requirements.
Now, if you are still sitting there and dreaming to become a fashion designer, don’t just sit! Visit our website and see our vast options of diplomas and certifications. With our nationally recognised training package, students can be assured that they are receiving the most recent industry relevant training with results that are accredited Australia-wide.