With Huda Al Nuami‘s 10th anniversary quickly approaching, the Emirati designer behind the eponymous label has a lot to celebrate. Having launched her brand in 2009 under the title Malaak (Angel in Arabic) before rebranding to her own name in 2016, Al Nuami has gone on to revolutionize the way that Arab women in the region wear their abayas, all while racking up an impressive celebrity client list that includes Alicia Keys and Sonam Kapoor, among others. “I really wanted to reinvent the abaya as a more fashion-forward piece that accurately reflected the modern Arab woman in Dubai,” explains the London College of Fashion graduate. “As our city was in the process of redefining itself, so were our women,” she adds.
Thus the brand formerly known as Malaak was born. Al Nuami’s line-up of overlays stayed true to their original and traditional form, in that they were modest, but featured contemporary elements like shorter hemlines, padded shoulders, and embellishments that took them beyond the plain black, floor-trailing robe. The designer would go on to craft covetable collection after collection of abayas until 2016, when she decided to rebrand and expand into accessories (clutches, footwear, brooches) simultaneously. “I took the brand into one of the most sought-after labels in the region, and in 2016 I decide to steer the collections into a more international direction,” she recalls. The brand would go on to burst into international markets after being picked up by e-retailers Matches and Shopbop shortly after.
More recently, the designer has unveiled her new Fall 2018 collection, a range of “luxury loungewear” that materializes in the form of drawstring dresses, V-neck jumpers, khaki trousers, and ultra-cozy jumpsuits crafted out of rich and comfortable materials like ribbed knit sourced from Japan. “I’m in love with the aesthetic of this season,” she muses. “It is so versatile—it can be jazzed up with a pair of heels for the evening, or teamed with trainers during the day, so it really maintains an element of wearability.”
When asked about what is next for her brand, Al Nuami reveals that London Fashion Week might be in the cards. “2018 was about me catching up with international calendars and building a more diverse team. As next year will see us showcase in London with a wider collection, we will also be introducing new lines.” We can’t wait to see what she has in store for the next 10 years, but until then, peruse the slides in the gallery above to catch a glimpse at the brand’s Fall 2018 collection.