In The Hot Seat With Alia Al Suwaidi of @abudhabifashiondays and @seventeenelevenuae
Here at Brimah and John, we have numerous inspirations! One of which are fabulous women, with a passion and a drive to do what they love and what makes them happy. These women are forging a path for themselves in their chosen fields and are an inspiration to us all. So what we like to do, is sit them down in the hot seat, shine a spot light on them... and get to know them a little better.
"Alia Al Suwaidi started her journey after she graduated from the American University of Sharjah, Holding a BA in Visual Communication. Whilst working for the government for 4 years she met a lot of designers and gained a lot of experience in her field.
Following this she established Seventeen Eleven Design studio a print and product design studio, specialising in full branding services. For such a young artist and designer, Alia has already made leaps in her career. She has set out to conquer a difficult marketplace while remaining true to her dreams and ideals, and she is well on her way to succeeding.
It doesn’t stop there, Alia hopes to keep exploring the arts and design spectrum, and is looking to go into furniture and products design to add yet another facet to an already impressive portfolio of talent."
Alia's bio was so perfect, I just had to use it for her introduction
Tell us a bit about Abu Dhabi Fashion Days, share with us the story behind it, how it all started and your role?
I would like to first give you an over view of what is my role in Abu Dhabi Fashion Days, as you may already know I own Seventeen Eleven a Graphic Design Studio specializing in print and product design.
Our main roll in ADFD was to develop a theme related to the interior of the exhibition. The interior was focused on the geometrical shapes hence the reason we have incorporated geometrical shapes in all our campaign design.
The theme design was incorporated in all of the collaterals used for ADFD Starting with the designing the invite, website banners, tickets, roll up banners, and the ticket stand,
Abu Dhabi Fashion Days is a Fashion trunck show where a lot of local and regional designer showcases their work in a very special way.
What is your background? What were you doing prior to Abu Dhabi Fashion Days?
I hold bachelors in Visual Communication from the American University of Sharjah. I was working for the government and now I have established my own design studio.
Tell us about the other people involved in putting together AD Fashion days. Their different backgrounds.
We are 4 partners working together. The main founder Sumayya Al Suwaidi is an Artist & a fashion designer. Maryam Al Suwaidi an interior designer, founder of Designtalk. Sumayya Al Miskiri an entrepreneur, founder of Petals flower boutique and Alia Al Suwaidi a Graphic Designer founder of Seventeen Eleven.
How has the journey been so far? Challenges and highlights?
It has been very challenging; we always try our best to present the best to our clients in terms of design and services.
What goes into putting such a showcase together?
In my case we plan the campaign for each season ahead of time and the colors usually depend on the season we are working for. We then apply the design to all the collaterals, newsletter and banners used for the exhibition.
Who would you say is/are your biggest motivators?
What are your favourite (fashion) trends this season?
Simple yet elegent. A lot of whites, greys and nude colors.
What do you enjoy most during AD fashion days showcase?
I enjoy the atmosphere and getting to know new people
Are there any designers in particular we should be on the look out for?
How would you describe your personal style?
I like to incorporate geometrical shapes and pattern in my designs
If you could shop in anyone's wardrobe in the world whose would it be?
If you could only keep three things from your personal wardrobe what would you pick?
Sunglasses at the beach, or Wellies on an adventure trail?
Sunglasses at the beach
Describe your dream getaway?
On a quiet serene island
What's your biggest pet peeve?
Coming across lizards
Any advice for all the women out there carving their paths in life?
Always believe in your self
And lastly our favourite Brimah and John question,
You've got £250 to spend at www.brimahandjohn.com what pieces do you buy?
I wish you all could meet the Al-Suwaidis, if the sisters I met are an indication of the whole family... all I can say is mashaAllah! From their warm smiles to their genuine hearts, the sisters welcomed me, and we sat and spoke like we'd known each other for years. We spoke of fashion, family, university, future plans and lots more... subhanAllah, there are big things in store for the fashion days team, and each member is talented, creative and driven. I truly felt honoured to have had the opportunity to meet them, and I pray for them much more success and positivity.
I left Abu Dhabi Fashion Days with a determination to personally emit a kindness and warmth similar to that which I was welcomed with, not just from the Al-Suwaidis, but from all the women I spoke too.
FOTO has raised a whopping £270 to go towards sponsoring orphans for the entire month of Ramadhan. SubhanAllah we're just over the halfway mark! Lets keep the donations coming inshaAllah...
I honestly can't express my gratitude enough to all those donating and sharing! Those close to me know, if I could adopt all the orphans I would! In a heartbeat!! They are my hearts...