FASHION FOCUS – Exclusive Interview with Sawwad Fashion

In a world where almost every women desires to become a fashion designer.. It is so inspiring to get to meet those who are truly passionate about fashion, about dressing women, about empowering women with their choice of clothing. What truly makes a great designer is her attention to detail and her constant hard work in creating signature pieces.

We respect these women, and pride them for their passionate contribution within the industry. A woman we admire for her perseverance and creativity.. A woman who holds character and substance to her brand. We fell in love with Salma’s story & hope to inspire you with the same. Read on as she shares some tips and advice to aspiring designers & entrepreneurs..

SPOTLIGHT ON – SALMA AWWAD
Founder of Sawwad Fashion

 What Was Your Greatest Inspiration Behind Sawwad Fashion ? 

SALMA: I always knew I wanted to express my own voice and contribute to the beauty of the world around us. Only when I made the life altering decision to move to New York did I discover that the vehicle of my choice was fashion. As I worked as a designer for the greatest names in fashion, like Ralph Lauren, Narciso Rodriguez, Alexander Wang and Armani Exchange, all I could think about was that I need to take all this knowledge back home and share it with the creative minds of our region to propel us all forward. I believe that the best way to inspire others is by being the most marvelous version of yourself you could possibly be as you maintain your authenticity.

The name Sawwad was actually coined under very different circumstances. I was going through the toughest period of my life and decided to intentionally focus on the light that is shrouded by all the dark clouds. That’s what the name means in Arabic, Sawwad literally is translated as “Darkness” and is rooted from the Arabic word for the color “Black”. It is a message to myself that always reminds me that “from the darkest times, shines your brightest light” . Of course it also happens to be the abbreviation of my name and the number one color worn in the fashion industry, so that was a cool bonus! It just all came together flawlessly.

When / Where Was Sawwad Fashion launched ? 

SALMA: I Launched it here, in Dubai. Everything I do is done 100% in the UAE, from my designing, to manufacturing to styling projects, it is a fashion and lifestyle brand that is focused on an entrepreneur’s journey in the UAE. Fashion doesn’t exist in a vacuum , and I wanted to candidly convey the full package that comes with choosing to lead such a lifestyle and career choice in our region. Although the company was created and licensed at an earlier date as a way to affirm my intention, I officially started my Sawwad journey in October 2015.

Who is Salma ? What Are Her Greatest Passions & Dreams?

SALMA: I am a passion entrepreneur. So I am lucky enough to be living out my passions on a daily basis, and fully comprehend that this is a true blessing. Mind you, there was a lot of second guessing and hesitation at the beginning of this journey, but I made a conscious decision, every single day, to stop taking security life rafts and just stick to pursuing my vision full heartedly. Ever since, I’ve been living and evolving into my dream life, enjoying the journey and endless possibilities that come with it. What makes me happy? Co-creating. When you meet someone that is on the same wavelength with complimenting skills and you decide to pursue a passion project together. Now that is pure bliss.

 Where Do You See Sawwad Fashion in 8 years ? 

SALMA: 8 years!! Wow, that is a very long time. I am a planner, but I definitely live in the moment, moment by moment. I believe all big accomplishments are made up of the smallest steps, so you have to pay attention to these little steps. I can only tell you what I aspire for right now, hopefully this will all unfold in less than 8 years and a new set of aspirations will kick into place. I aim for Sawwad to be a creative lifestyle brand encompassing all things from fashion and well being to all forms of authentic creative expression. I embrace the new, the cutting edge and even the unconventional, leveraging what I know for an endless quest of enrichment and the beauty of what can manifest on the journey. Think, Virgin and Richard Branson, he didn’t limit himself by titles, he just followed is creative bliss. Right now, Sawwad is working on 4 different passion projects, only 2 of them encompass fashion, the other two have to do with living a creative and empowered lifestyle. I’m so excited to share with you the details as they unfold.

What Would you Advise to Young & Aspiring Designers ? 

SALMA: Learn to trust yourself. You know yourself better than anyone else and your intuition is always on point. Always be gentle with yourself and flexible on your journey, for that is where the best surprises are in store.

What Makes Sawwad Fashion Unique ? 

SALMA: It comes from the heart! My tailoring, laser cutting techniques, designs, styling projects and creative decisions are all pieces of a puzzle that come together to make a bigger picture of pushing through the boundaries of our current creative pool and capabilities. I want to show that we can do it all, and we can do it better, right here, homegrown and proud.

Tell Us About Your Collections, How Were They Inspired ? 

SALMA: With regards to the fashion design branch of Sawwad, the capsule collections I introduce are what I call “experimental fashion” because they bring forth elements that have yet to be done in our market. My laser cut butterfly jackets are my signature pieces and best represent that concept. The butterfly collection, came from my motto of “evolve to the highest form that is intended for you” and each butterfly was hand drawn, carefully crafted and meticulously merged with its tailored structure. It took a lot of patience and experimentation to achieve the final result that you see now. But that is the only way I know how to do things.

What Does Sawwad Encompass?

SALMA: Right now, as Sawwad stands today, we have an experimental fashion design branch, an editorial styling branch, and a creative consulting and content creation branch. Of course, the fashion and lifestyle blogging brings them all together and documents the whole journey. That can be a full branch in its own right.

What Are Your Life Mottos ? 

SALMA: I already shared a few throughout this interview, but if I had to add another it would be Rumi’s quote stating, “the art of knowing is knowing what to ignore.” In this day and age, this quote couldn’t be more true. We have so much information thrown at us, so many messages so much noise, it is easy to get carried away with it all. We live in a time where your most valuable skill is learning how to go inward, block out all the noise and just listen to your own voice. It will guide you towards your bliss.

What is Your Favorite Brand ? 

SALMA: I admire Iris Van Herpen and her forward-thinking perspective on life. Her designs truly challenge the status quo what is believed to be the limits of fashion creativity. You can tell she is clearly listening to her own voice which is what makes her stand out from the crowd and leaves you on the edge of your seat.

What Quote Do You Live By ?

SALMA: “I only have eyes for what I am dreaming” That’s actually my own quote. It is my mantra and perspective on life

 What Is Your Favorite Destination? 

SALMA: Oh my goodness. I don’t think I’ve seen enough to be able to answer that. Right now, I’ll have to say New York!! But that is because I lived there and I have a soft spot for it since it awakened the designer in me. But maybe in the future it’ll be somewhere like Bali, only time will tell.

What Message Would You Like To Share With Your Followers, Customers & Admirers?

SALMA: Follow your happiness, it is your best guidance system to gauge whether you’re on the right track. Always, service your happiness first and the rest will fall into place.

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             Dedicated To All That Is Beautiful

 

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