By Ruqaya al Kindi
To become a fashion designer, you will need to become a multi-skilled individual and must include in your talents the ability to draw, design, and sew on top of your knowledge of the fashion industry, and unparalleled perseverance.
Rayan Al Sulaimani, the Omani fashion designer at the helm of Atelier Zuhra specialized in creating unique and high-quality dresses. Her passion for glamour clothing is fueled by her ambition of working with celebrities and international personalities and fashion influencers.
Rayan decided to strike out on her own with a line of dresses. Her business blossomed over the years with her products selling through retail outlets.
“My fashion style is chic,]. It is matchless because of the high-quality fabrics and materials I used in making the dresses. Inimitable fashion style is found at Atelier Zuhra,” she said.
The moment you see Rayan’s designer, you will notice right away that her designs are influenced by her Middle Eastern culture but also incorporate some western styles.
“Being born and brought up in the Middle East, my beautiful culture has somehow reflected in my designs. I draw a lot of inspiration from art as well as nature and I try to combine my inspirations into every piece I make,” she said.
The Swan Lake Collection, for example, was inspired by Swan Princess of the art of Mosaic. The collection called “Infinity” draws inspiration from different colored gemstones. For another Collection, the inspiration was taken from “Barcelona and the Modern Mosaic” by Antonio Gaudi.
Designing is a creative field and for most of the designers. To be innovative and creative is challenging but exciting. The fashion designers, usually, must constantly stay up-to-date regarding the fashion world to have insights about the trends in the industry and become an excellent competitor.
As for Rayan, “I stay up-to-date through browsing on the internet, by surfing the social media and fashion blogs, fashion stores, attending various fashion shows, film festivals exhibitions, being attentive to what people wear on the streets and various global collections,” she said.
Any fashion designer has to have many skills because talent alone is not enough, it is only an addition to success. Rayan believes that successful fashion designers need to possess a high level of creativity, artistic skills, teamwork skills, good communication skills, quality consciousness, visualization ability (Imagination of seeing a product/dress before even being produced), and knowledge of fashion trends.
Rayan’s entry into the fashion design field was not planned.
“I used to work for my father’s company, but at the same time, as soon as I finished my work, I went to my mom’s company to see what is new in the world of fashion,” she pointed out.
The motivating factor that made Rayan step in fashion design was her mother Mouza Al Aufi whose aspiration was to design glamorous and fabulous dresses for fashionable women.
“Besides my love in fashion and dresses, I had a strong passion to progress in the business. I had been watching my mother work towards her goal closely from the very beginning. She has been a major influence for me, choosing this path,” she explained.
One of the challenges that Rayan faces constantly is competition especially since her company is headquartered in Dubai where many talented fashion designers exist.
“This creates more urgency that makes Atelier Zuhra striving constantly to show new and prominent designs,” she noted.
Nevertheless, Ryan has a great background in business management that helps her to be a strong competitor. Where, she said, “I attended various prestigious educational institutions in Dubai and globally. I got my Diploma in Business Administration from the Queensland University of Technology in Australia; and obtained my Bachelor’s degree in Commerce from the University of Wollongong in Dubai.”