Madi Abaida's label EXTREMEDY looks to shake up UAE fashion scene
EXPLODING ONTO THE UAE's fashion scene, new urban street wear brand EXTREMEDY recently held a typically ceremonious Dubai debut at Cavalli Club in the presence of not only founder and creative director Madi Abaida, but Gigi and Bella Hadid's property impresario father Mohamed, British socialite Chloe Green, Lebanese pop star May Hariri and, taking to the catwalk: celebrity models Jeremy Meeks and Andreea Sasu.
It was a night as opulent as it was vivacious with the venue at capacity and the brand's signature 1980s motif and spike stud accents taking centre stage. Distressed denims, biker jackets, hoodies and camouflage made up the majority of street-style separates being paraded down the runway to the beat of familiar rock tunes including numbers from The Darkness and Joan Jett. In order to understand more, we spoke to founder, Madi, who established the brand in Italy, about why the Emirates needs her creations and what is it like setting up a fashion business in the Middle East.
How would you describe Extremedy to people who are yet to see your brand? Where can people find the clothes?
Extremedy is something that is out of the ordinary. As somebody who is inspired by many different trends and fashion brands from around the world, I wanted to create something that doesn't exist anywhere else. My style is really unique, with this vision and idea I was able to create something new, unique and authentic. Extremedy is not your average couture collection - it is a deluxe urban streetwear brand that doesn't follow trends. I design based on my mood and how I feel at the time. The autumn/winter 2019/20 collection will be available via our e-commerce platform from late summer and we are currently in talks regarding stockists in the international market - so watch this space!
Why launch in Dubai?
Simply because Dubai is international, it's a multicultural hub and I believe that a brand like mine, with its unique style is missing here - something new and exciting! I have lived in Dubai for eight months now and I really love it here, there's inspiration everywhere.
Do you think it is easier to set up your own business empire here - particularly regarding female business leaders - than in other parts of the world?
In life, I try not to see problems. I always succeed and I always look for the positives in everything. I'm a "yes" person! I am all about the power of women and that is shown in my collection. It's about being brave, daring and not being afraid to break boundaries - I think Dubai does that, so launching Extremedy here really made sense to me. The label is an Italian fashion brand with our HQ based in Milan, due to the high-quality craftsmanship, especially when it comes to the leather goods. Having the best quality is very important and something I cannot compromise on.
How did you find the Cavalli Club show?
The Extremedy show at Cavalli Club Dubai was incredible - it was everything I dreamed it would be, a truly magical night. The production, lighting, music and entertainment was second to none. Jeremy Meeks is currently the best male representative of everything Extremedy stands for. I am drawn to people who know how to take a bad situation and make something positive out of it, so for me he ticks every box in terms of representing the brand. Andreea Sasu perfectly embodys the attitude and style of Extremedy, and she was amazing in the show - both of them love the clothing.
What do you think of Dubai's fashion credentials overall?
I don't feel like there are any brands here that fit my style, that's why Dubai is the perfect place for me to break boundaries in the fashion industry - Extremedy is bringing something fresh to the region. I personally love unique and special creations which I think, from my point of view, Dubai is currently missing.
What are your personal top three style tips before heading out to a function?
I would say having the right combination of colours and materials - this will always keep your style interesting. Accessorising in the right way for what you're wearing, and always following your own personal style - if you don't feel comfortable in a look it shows and you won't be able to look your best.
Who in the public eye do you class as a style icon and why? Which other model or performer would you most like to dress in your clothes?
I would say Kim Kardashian and Rihanna - I love their strong personalites and characters. They are fearless in their fashion choices and they aren't afraid to take risks. I really relate to their characters - this is the same with anyone who has an open mind, a free spirit and doesn't give up easily.
Quick questions with special guests Jeremy Meeks and Mohamed Hadid
What do you think about Extremedy?
The collection is insane - it's powerful, its cutting, its edgy and anyone can wear it. It's really going to kill the European and American markets - just wait, this is only the beginning!
How did it feel walking in the Extremedy show?
It was amazing, I've done a lot of shows before but none of them have been this fun, so it was a great experience. Modelling has really allowed me to find my true passion and given me a better sense of self-worth by finding something I'm really good at. I really appreciated being a part of the Extremedy show and I can't wait for the next one.
How has your personal style developed in the last few years?
My style has dramatically changed for the better in the past few years, as I have personally matured, so has my style - I am drawn to quality, a nice fit and keeping my own natural edge, and now I have some Extremedy pieces that will take my style to the next level!
What do you think about Extremedy?
Extremedy is beautiful, the pieces are fresh and new. It has elements of strength, yet it's super sexy. I feel amazing in the clothes and I will definitely be wearing them moving forward.
What do you think about the fashion industry in Dubai?
I think it's fantastic - it takes elements and trends from all around the world and really stays on top of what is in fashion at the time. It's the place to be, you can walk around and find inspiration all around you.
Extremedy’s Madi Abaida takes centre stage flanked by Jeremy Meeks and Andreea Sasu