Eid Al Adha: Emirati entrepreneur and designer Fatma Al Hashimi on her special collection
She calls it a "distinct and modern" collection inspired by the "African spirit and boho style".
Emirati entrepreneur and designer Fatma Al Hashimi says her design boutique concept, HASH, launched along with her sister Mariam Al Hashimi, is one "built on a belief." In a recent interview with City Times, she spoke about the brand's journey, the impact of the coronavirus pandemic on fashion and business, and HASH's latest collection for Eid Al Adha.
"HASH is a belief in dreams, in aspirations, and in passion," says Fatma, adding, "What is today a full-fledged brand, started out as a hobby. In 2015, when I returned from the United States, I noticed that colourful abayas were in vogue. So first, I and my sister Mariam started wearing colourful abayas - we would buy fabric, design, stitch, and create abayas that caught attention wherever we went wearing them."
She revealed that family and friends were supportive of the sisters' efforts. "We were complimented by friends and family members who encouraged us to think in the direction of creating our own clothing line. This was the moment we realised that we need to seriously think about it. Our passion for fashion and attention to detail, our love for beautiful, comfortable, and eye-catching outfits and our knowledge of the intricacies like stitching and selecting fabric helped us create a brand which today has an identity and niche of its own."
Boho style for Eid Al Adha
Fatma says the brand's latest collection, designed for Eid Al Adha, was "distinct and modern".
"Our Eid Al-Adha collection is inspired by the African spirit and boho style - it is a distinct and modern collection. We've created a line called 'casual chic', wherein fabrics used are linen and soft fabrics with flowy cuts and pleats. Some of the pieces in the collection also have a touch of elegant embroidery work, while there are options of abayas and ready-to-wear that have more of a streetwear look with raw stitch to it.
"The collection is in colours such as blue, olive, and pastel thereby providing the dresses with a calm and relaxed feel. We are already receiving very good responses for this collection which has been specifically designed for women who want to celebrate this Eid looking stylish and feeling comfortable at the same time."
How does she plan to celebrate Eid? "Eid has always been a special occasion. The celebrations, events, distinct flavours, customs, and traditions make it special, especially in the UAE, where people from so many different nationalities live. Usually, we would visit our relatives but this year we will celebrate Eid with only our immediate family members."
The impact of Covid-19 on modest fashion
Modest fashion has been creating a niche for itself for a while now, and with the world battling Covid-19, the demand for elegant, practical and modest attire seems to have grown. Fatma commented on this trend, saying, "Hoping that people would choose practical clothing over party dresses for casual wear, we have been designing pieces that were in line with modest fashion and yet were trendy - long before the pandemic hit the world. We have always relied on linen and soft cotton fabrics to make clothing more summer-friendly and modest. So, we've been the first choice of customers looking for attire that combines elegance, trendiness, and modesty - the current times have only encouraged us to keep creating what customers demand."
As for her fashion inspiration, she says, "I have travelled a lot and met many designers from different countries. This has helped me gain a lot of knowledge and widen my horizon not only in terms of understanding fashion closely but also to admire and feel inspired by the variety that exists in each designer and their work.
"I, therefore, think that each designer is unique and there is a lot out there to learn from each one them. However, Coco Chanel for practical simple designs, Chloe dexterity, flattering cut and fabrics, and Balenciaga for stunning casual wear!"
She speaks in glowing terms of UAE as a growing fashion destination and says her brand has greatly benefited from the international exposure the country provides. "UAE is at the forefront of the concept of civilization and a melting pot of cultures. In the fashion industry, UAE has attracted international designers of different nationalities, and hence I've had the advantage of learning in an environment, which is multicultural and multidimensional. This also means that you can get feedback from a truly global peer group and customers. The journey of our brand has greatly benefited from the international exposure that UAE has provided us."
Celebrities she would love to see wearing HASH? "We wish our designs are someday worn by Joel Mardinian and Queen Rania of Jordan."
HASH, known for its prêt-à-porter and custom-made outfits started off as an Instagram account @hashdesign_. The boutique is located at Wasl51, Jumeirah 1 block D.