In need of a chic and modest outfit for work, but don't want to compromise on style? Enter Niili. The newly launched Dubai-based label fuses functionality and femininity within its garments to create free-spirited silhouettes with a sharp aesthetic.
Niili's designs just go to show that you can be both comfortable and bold, while still looking professional (Just look to the pearl embellished top, sitting at the top of our wish-list, for all the proof you need).
Founded and created this year by CEO Khaled Al Zaabi, an Emirati businessman and the creative director Paula Quetglas Llop who was previously a designer at Elie Saab, Niili is the new label to know. We sat down with Khaled and Paula to find out more...
Harper's BAZAAR Arabia: Who is the ‘Niili woman'?
Niili: The Niili woman is an open minded independent woman. She leads the way with her choices. She likes fashion but is not only guided by trends, she prefers to buy brands with a story and prefers quality over quantity. She is well travelled, cultivated and curious. She does not want to be the center of attention, because for the Niili woman magic always happens from the inside out.
HBA: Tell us a little bit about your first collection...
Niili: It is inspired by Emirati culture. We have taken 3 elements that for us that shape the landscape and culture of the Emirates. The sea, the city and the desert. All these elements come together through the colors of the mother of pearl. We have taken the fluidity of water, the waves drawn on the sand by the wind, the urbanism of the city and the geometries of Arabic motifs to design the prints, choose the materials and mold the shapes of our garments.
HBA: How do you integrate sustainability and ‘global sensibility’ within your designs?
Niili: The concept of our brand is to conceive our productions in limited editions. With this we have a very controlled production, minimizing stock and therefore waste - it helps us consume in a responsible way. All our garments are made using natural fabrics with the buttons created out of mother of pearl. And currently, our packaging is being conceived to generate the least waste possible.
HBA: What current brand/designer would you align yourself with? Or have taken inspiration from?
Niili: We like the approach that Marine Serre has with fashion. She is a young French designer that uses multidisciplinary support to communicate the identity of her brand. She has managed to put together in a very balanced way a commercial approach with an artistic touch. We relate to that brand not in style, but in the language used. Of the consolidated brands we really like, Loewe is our top pick. We would like to achieve a close collaboration with artisans in the same way they do. This has given the brand a strong personality.
HBA: What do you aim to do with the brand within the next 5 years?
Niili: We would like to go international, as this has been an important goal since Niili was conceived. We have created a brand that is rooted in the culture of the Emirates, but that is designed in a way that invites women from different cultures to adapt it to their own stylistic territory.
We can't wait to see more.
For more information, visit Niili.com