Emirati designer Yasmin Al Mulla‘s abayas are a reflection of her home country – timeless, authentic, and full of life.
The abaya is an essential attire of the Khaleeji woman’s wardrobe,” asserts Yasmin Al Mulla, creative director and co-founder of YNM. Celebrating her fashion label’s sixth anniversary, Al Mulla maintains her brand’s dynamic through constant observation – now more than ever. “Listening to our clients during Covid-19, we decided to shift the standards and focus on natural, sustainable, and a seasonless approach with four capsules a year,” she says, adding that sales are now primarily direct to consumer, shipping worldwide. “We wanted to simplify the method and make it accessible and smooth for everyone during this critical period; as the usual abaya shopping experience requires specific measurements and needs to be customized for each individual. Therefore, YNM launched its first-ever online abaya experience. With three clicks, the abaya is swiftly delivered.”
The brand, located in the Dubai Design District, is built with authentic purpose. “I always make sure my designs can reflect my culture in a modern way,” considers Al Mulla. “I aspire to elevate our traditional pieces, yet make sure to keep the classical beauty of the concept.” The handmade garments are fluid, feminine, and void of unnecessary accouterments, which maintains the focus on cut, color, and quality and can be worn day to night.
Since co-founding YNM with her sister, Al Mulla’s designs have caught the eye of numerous internationally renowned brands, keen to connect with Arab women through an authentic channel. YNM has collaborated on several occasions with Tiffany & Co., designing capsule collections inspired by its jewelry. Jimmy Choo, Christian Louboutin, Matchesfashion.com, Level Shoes, By Far, Ex Nihilo, and Baccarat are other names associated with YNM.
“From a creative perspective, I wanted to fill the gap in our regional market by creating strong products, to modernize our classic kaftans, to twist our beautiful embellishments, to create homegrown ready-to-wear pieces that speak to today’s generation, and to focus on a high standard of craftsmanship and lasting quality,” reflects Al Mulla of her brand’s underlying success. The self-made entrepreneur is certified in design by the London College of Fashion and is a member of the Dubai Design & Fashion Council. Her thoughts turn to her home country and its well of support. “We are so blessed and fortunate to live in the UAE, where women take their chances in all aspects, where their voices are being heard, and where they are treated as gems. Growing up in the UAE is a privilege, a beautiful and inspiring thing, as the rapid developments urge us to work hard to keep up and develop ourselves, and our goals, too. We are driven to represent our country in an optimistic way.”
Originally published in the September 2020 issue of Vogue Arabia.