Reema Al Banna, the designer behind the UAE-based ready-to-wear brand Reemami is in the midst of launching her new seasonless campaign with an army of 14 women. Artists, performers, and women who are contributing to their community are featured one by one in the new designs inspired by Al Banna’s own Palestinian heritage. Al Banna reveals that this is the first time she references her Palestinian heritage via her 12-year-old brand. “I had a lot of fun sketching these memories—my mom’s traditional cuisine, for example. I also worked with Palestinian refugee women—using their leftover patchworks—making prints that show the embroidery “x” symbol. There is also the damask rose, used heavily in Palestinian thobes translated onto dresses,” she explains of the collection that showcases colorful trompe l’oeil, body hugging dresses; stirrup leggings; shirts; and structured miniskirts giving the collection an overall sporty, urban vibe.
The campaign launched this week with singer Abir, followed by dancer Carolina. Now, Al Banna releases the images of Sudanese Abeer Issam (first image) through Vogue Arabia. “I came across her profile on social media,” offers Al Banna. I was looking for a diverse cast, I reached out and we had a few friends in common.” Issam works for a leading humanitarian organization in the UAE and shares that this was the first time she posed for the camera. “The shoot was an exciting, entirely outside my comfort zone experience, that I knew I had to push myself to do because it would help me grow and it did,” expresses Issam. “I grew more comfortable with myself, more confident in my truth, and a little more at ease with being seen or perceived,” she adds. Issam shares that her favorite thing to do is laugh, “Be it at myself, the state of the world, or at a good, comedic act—I’ll take what I can get. Nothing makes me happier than traveling and immersing in a new culture, from music to food, to history, to what’s considered a standard of normal—all of it.” She concludes that music also brings her “immense joy.” Follow Reemami to watch the rest of the campaign photographed by Zeashan Ashraf and with hair and makeup by Moona Sultan and Bisma Humaira unfold.