Dubai designer Reem Al Banna, the creative brains behind contemporary ready-to-wear label Reemami sat down with BAZAAR to talk us through her autumn/winter wakesurf-inspired collection.
Harper’s BAZAAR Arabia: Why were you inspired by wake surfing for this collection?
Reema Al Banna: My collections have always been inspired by my love of working out. Exercising is something I love and it helps me recharge and feel my best. My collection in 2015 was inspired by boxing, then I moved on to wall climbing in 2017, and 2019 has taken me to wakesurfing, which has become one of the patterns throughout the collection. It’s translated through whimsical illustrations and paintings, all created in-house by hand.
HBA: So would you say that fitness is at the core of the Reemami brand?
RAB: Part of the brand’s ethos is to encourage friends and followers to stay active, and do more of what they love. Exercising releases endorphins and serotonin (or what I like to call ‘happy chemicals’) into your brain. They energize you and boosts your confidence, and ultiamtely that’s what the Reemami brand ethos is.
HBA: Tell us about the narration over the video?
RAB: The narration is a reflection of how I feel when I’m riding the waves. I collaborated with my friend Cherry Koshy who’s a creative communications specialist and and ex-colleague. She helped me write the voiceover, and then we worked with an old high school friend of mine who is also an upcoming Dubai-based singer, songwriter and actress, Iman Al Shaibani, who did the narration.
HBA: What is different about this collection compared to your last ones?
RAB: We’ve enhanced our best-sellers and reworked some of our signature silhouettes. The wetsuit was an inspiration, so zippers adorn d a lot of the pieces and enabled us to create silhouettes which can be transformed with the simplicity of unzipping and zipping the sleeves, the collar, cuffs or even a scarf. We also combined multiple, prints and mixed and matched them in easy silhouettes, which was challenging but the outcome was fun. It gave us a vintage yet cool patchwork contemporary feel. This collection was made for the stylish bold, fashion-forward ladies out there.
HBA: Any favorite/key pieces from this collection?
RAB: The Ondine jacket. It’s a black jacket that has a detachable scarf, and the collar can be transformed and zipped up to for a high neck collar, so it’s really versatile. I also love the Wipe Out white shirt dress and the Adva jacket, which a yellow cropped jacket with an elevated fabric manipulation technique that was inspired by the water drops created when surfing.
HBA: What else do you love about this collection?
RAB: We create sustainable pieces, which is something that’s very important to us. Everything is produced in-house, and in the UAE. We work hard towards creating an ecosystem and helping the infrastructure of building a sustainable fashion community here in the Middle East.