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Quick takes: Five facts about Rami Al Ali you ought to know

With supermodels and celebrities lining up for his collections, the Syrian-born designer has paved the way for couture in the Middle East

Quick takes: Five facts about Rami Al Ali you ought to know
[Source photo: Venkat Reddy/Fast Company Middle East]

If there is one calling Rami Al Ali has had in his life – it is his love for haute couture. From a small city in Syria, far away from the roots of fashion, Ali signed up at the College of Fine Arts in Damascus to go on to establish one of the most-coveted fashion labels in the world. 

One of the Middle East’s top couturiers and an ambitious entrepreneur, Ali’s designs have been donned by Beyoncé, Helen Mirren, Ivanka Trump, and most recently, by model Kelsey Merritt, who stunned the onlookers in a pink gown at the Venice Film Festival. 

Since his breakthrough moment at Rome’s Alta Roma Couture Week in 2009, Ali has left an unforgettable imprint. He was named one of the top 50 most influential Arabs by The Middle East Magazine. 

These are five facts you must know about the designer.  

MENTORING YOUNG COUTURIERS

Ali is dedicated to art. Since 2017, he is mentoring young couturiers through his program at ESMOD Fashion Institute in Dubai. Here, undergraduates are offered opportunities to develop their capsule collection through an internship at his atelier.

WOMEN’S ART MOVEMENT

The designer participated in the Atassi Foundation exhibition in Dubai in 2019, put together by a non-profit organization focused on highlighting female artists’ meaningful impact on developing the country’s art scene. A year later, Ali created Ard Dyar, a network to promote and support budding Syrian talent around the globe.

FLAIR FOR BRIDALWEAR

To address the shift in the fashion industry, he launched Rami Al Ali White in 2020, an annual ready-to-wear evening and bridal design, starting from $1300, valuing longevity and condemning overproduction at its core.

“I don’t follow seasonal trends when it comes to bridalwear, especially wedding gowns. It’s more about the theme the bride is trying to create. We also try to satisfy as many tastes as possible in the GCC market,” says Ali. From Kuwait’s trendsetting brides and lovers of timeless beauty in UAE to Oman’s vintage choices, he caters to all. 

SUSTAINABLE FASHION

As the world battled a global health crisis, Ali skipped showcasing his new couture collection in autumn-winter 2020/21 to reduce the brand’s environmental impact and move toward a more sustainable future. He believes couture is free from the constraints of dated trends. “We decided not to create a new collection this season as we want to be more mindful about our production. Fashion is the most adaptable industry and very much the mirror of society,” Ali said.

EAR TO THE CONSUMER’S HEART

Though Ali’s work is timeless, his business acumen constantly evolves to the needs of his 584,000 followers.  

With social media democratizing the fashion industry, Instagram has become the headliner in some of the brand’s greatest bridal sales.

“One of the first things my clients look for in a dress is how it looks in photos. A photograph is a realized memory, so she wants the image to be as beautiful as possible,” Ali said in an interview

Adding a digital customization option to his ecommerce site, Ali has enabled his clients to alter and customize parts of their chosen gown to fit their tastes and preferences. This move into the digital space connects the tailor-made component of the fashion designer’s couture with the instant gratification that his ready-to-wear line delivers.

ABOUT THE AUTHOR

Shweta Nair is the Associate Editor at Fast Company Middle East. She is drawn to a plethora of topics ranging from human-interest stories to technology and has worked for Times of Oman and The Arabian Stories. In her downtime, she loves tending to her home garden, learning new skills & binge-watching true crime shows. More

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