Monthly Archives: July 2012

Taking risks – A Fashion Designer perspective


The fashion industry is a cut throat business to the core and in order to survive it, a fashion designer needs to be extremely talented and innovative. A designer should boast a wide range of skills which includes vision, creativity, research, illustration and sewing.

Other significant components to maintain a successful fashion business is combining a high level of determination, focus and risk taking to achieve the desired ambition.

Risk taking is being able to make the right decisions for the business as well as accept responsibilities for those decisions. Taking calculated risks can be both rewarding and can give a fashion designer a competitive edge over his rivals.

 

What are the risks?

  • Career Switch– a fashion designer choice to migrate from a sustainable career to pursue his/her passion is in itself is a huge risk.
  • Risk of Failure- this occurs due various factors such as lack of research, poor management of funds and wrong business decisions that can lead the business to bankruptcy.
  • Copyright Infringements- the copying of designs by other competitors and benefiting from its success.  
  • Partnerships– Choosing the wrong partner to work with can result in substantial conflicts that may have a damaging impacts on the fashion business.
  • Personal or bank loans.
  • Inventory management-ensuring that supply meets demand in a timely manner. If not the results can be harmful.
  • Trend assessment– Trends can be unpredictable and one mistake can result in excessive inventory.
  • Marketing Strategies– targeting the wrong audience may result in extreme sales loss.
  • Competition- The fashion industry can be quiet fickle and with the increase of upcoming designers everyday, competition is becoming tougher and harder to monitor.
  • Long Hours of Work– a fashion designer have to be prepared to spend long hours immersed in his business to help it grow and succeed.
  • Unpredictable Business Conditions– a young fashion business may not possess the financial capability nor possess the organizational capacity to respond to new opportunities.

 

Why risk it all?

The utmost factor that pulls everything together is having a real passion and love for fashion and the rewards can be really satisfying and fulfilling.

The “Rewards” 

  •  Un-limited opportunity to make money– Earning money will depend on how much effort and hard work the designer will have to put in to obtain results.
  • Harness Creativity– The designer will have the opportunity to grow creative ideas into concepts and then a thriving business.
  • Be your own boss– the designer is the main driver of the business and will have total control in the decisions which can be a gain or a loss for the business.
  • Overcome Challenges– starting a fashion business in itself is an accomplishment, the designer will have to manage and secure resources well. The fashion business success will solely depend on the designer ability to face and overcome challenges.
  • Working among creative people- designers will have an amazing opportunity to rub shoulders with talented individuals in the fashion industry therefore creating a network.
  • Employment-Starting a fashion business can aid in creating job opportunities and reduce the unemployment rate.
  • Knowledge is Power– the process of becoming a fashion designer is an ongoing learning experience which can position the designer in a place of power and influence within society and the fashion industry.
  • Collaborations– once the designer establishes a good name for himself, collaborations with other brands will be profitable for the business.
  • Originality- certain designers feel that they can produce unique products for their clients.    
  • Flexibility– a designer can schedule their own working hours and work whenever they want and however they please.
  • Contribution– giving back to the community through founding charity organizations and educational programs.

 

By : Amna Al Falasi

Twitter Handle : @ElManez

 


Abayas: A History of Fashion and Decency


In many cultures and countries all over the world, women wear and buy shoes, dresses , gowns and designer pieces but the same cant be said for women in some of the GCC countries. In UAE for example our women have one extra piece of clothing to put into consideration, which is the “Abaya”. An Abaya is a robe that is mainly composed of black cloth. It has been used the most in the Middle East countries considered as an important part of their culture and religion.

The essentials of an “Abaya” are simple: “That it covers the body (Except for the face and hands) and that it does not show areas that might trigger a male’s interest”. Throughout the years, women started taking things into their own hands. They started changing “Abayas” and creating new styles that gave off different fashion statements. In the UAE, local women developed “Abayas” and added another reason for wearing them…and that reason was “Fashion”. Many stores opened and competition burst between rivals. Just like famous brands would release clothes for every new season (Spring-Summer, Fall-Winter, and Summer Cruise), the UAE “Abaya” designers chose seasons of their own. The seasons chosen for Abayas are divided into different occasions that occur throughout the year such as Ramadan, Eid AlFitr, Eid AlAdha, and winter. The reason these seasons were chosen is because they are considered to be the peak seasons for Abaya purchases.

One of the emerging fashion designers is the UAE National Alia AlRayes, the founder of “Be.You.Tiful” Abayas. Alia’s abayas feature many exclusive and uncommon designs. She designs abayas that reveal the beauty of a woman while maintaining the basics of an abaya. Her designs tend to differ and take another path from the abayas of other designers, she shows this in her slogan, which says: “A Passion for Exclusivity”. Alia’s designs have proven to attract the eyes of Arabian woman due to their pure and original design that is suitable for numerous occasions.

 

On the other hand, one of the high end and most well known Abaya designers is Hessa AlObaidli. Before entering the fashion industry, Hessa was inspired by her mother’s talent to sew. Seeing her mother sewing, Hessa picked up the craft at the age of 10 and developed a talent that she wanted to use to in a professional way. In order to do that, Hessa build her own brand by using her name, she called her brand “HESSEH”. She used this in order to promote herself and to show that she was proud of her abaya designs that were distinctly related to her. Even though Hessa had knowledge in international fashion, Hessa chose to dwell in the designs of abayas because she wanted to benefit the women in her religion and give them a new fashionable look that still maintained the standards of decency. The most dominant thing about Hessa’s designs is that she took elements of international fashion and introduced them into her designs.

All in all, Abayas have been exposed to a lot of changes throughout history. These changes were necessary because they showed women throughout the world that just because Muslim ladies are confound by the abaya, they still have a sense in fashion. This made Arabian women able to compete with other designers not only in the abaya industry, but also in other industries such as Dresses, Accessories, and other wears.

 

By : Abdulla al Rayes

Twitter : @AbdullaAlRayes


We were Game !


The Rabbit Hole was part of such a fun event a while back in collaboration with other friends such as Think up GCC , 1971 Team and Emirates diaries. I bet you are all wondering on what happened in this event and what it was all about ?

The Event featured a number of various initatives  going up on stage and hosting games where the audience would interact wit us on stage. Various people performed during the event such as talents like Rashid bin Hussein who played The mario theme song on his Oud and comedian Shaima al Sayed who blew the audience away with her funny jokes.

As a part of The rabbit Hole Team we hosted to games.

Game One : where we had featured three mannequins on stage and group members had to design a dress using the recycled materials provided to them in the time given and the winning team got to go home with a winners goodie bag.

Game two : Was a tips and styling segment where one of our volunteers had given someone a makeover on stage explaining to the audience what would look good and what would not.

Also as part of our role as The rabbit hole we decided to host a silent auction where 4 of the designers we have chosen all displayed 1 – 2 pieces of their designs. The dresses were then modelled around the event for people to admire them. We were lucky enough to work with UAE designers The ahlis as well as fatima from bowtique. Also a surprise to everyone was two dresses featured designed by our founder Maitha al Maktoum who also contributed to the occasion. Links of their websites will be featured at the bottom of this post.

Overall the event was such a great experience for all the rabbit hole members where we all got to bond and meet new talented people. We leave you with pictures of the event :

Dress 1 by : @_Mia_AE

Dress 2 by : @_Mia_AE

Dress by : @Fatmasbowtique

Dress 1 by : @TheAhlis

Dress 2 : @Theahlis

Epualette’s by : @_PatrickHarris_

@RashidBH  on the Oud

By : The Rabbit Hole Team


QASIMI


QASIMI is a very familiar name in the UAE as it holds the name to one of our ruling families and to hear this name as a fashion label is something very unusual for us to hear.

Nevertheless the brains behind this fashion label His Highness “khalid bin Sultan al qassimi” Launched his first collection in 2008 and has been getting nothing but great feedback , already named one of the leading fashion brands in the world its something that Khalid has worked very hard on turning into a leading fashion label.

The Rabbit Hole Team has nothing but love for his innovative designs as he never fails to meet our expectations with every collection that he comes out with. He first started out doing a mixture of both mens and women’s line and has now focused more into menswear.

He is definitely an inspiration to any upcoming label from the GCC and a story that needs to be told to all struggling fashion designers.

Qasimi is always a label that we use as an example to show to all the upcoming brands that come our way as his brand is one to look up to.

We leave you with pictures our favorite picks from his collections over the years.

 

 

By : The Rabbit Hole Team

 

 

 

 

 


Fashion Bloggers – The new era of Influencers


Blogging is taking the internet by storm and becoming the current new social phenomenon, no more so than fashion blogging. The fashion blogger acts as a reviewer of a particular business/product whether its a boutique, a designer, a fashion brand, makeup and other related products.

So why are Bloggers still in the game ?

Most fashion bloggers start out with a sense a purpose to showcase a certain talent in their blogs whether they ace in photography, have good writing skills, a social media pro, an excellent stylist,  designer, artist and maybe all of the above. They want to experiment with their skills and establish a networking base to enable them to meet different kind of people who share the same interests and can help them enhance their existing careers and establish new ones in due course.

Fashion blogs have become an important part of mainstream fashion press. They offer a huge range of material from how to wear tutorials, runaway shows, personal holiday adventures, product reviews and magazine editorials.

The power of Bloggers?

The power and the influence of fashion bloggers lies in the fact that they have challenged the dominant perception of fashion visual culture as something that could be worn by thin young women and that all women of different backgrounds, sizes and ages can establish their own unique style. Also, they take it upon themselves to juggle various kind of roles in one as they can act as writers, journalists, advertisers, editors, photographers, designers, personal stylists and more.

Consumers usually perceive fashion bloggers as real and genuine in their blogs because they embrace individuality,diversity and democracy in their opinions. Fashion bloggers earn their credibility through standing their own ground and expressing their creative ideas about the fashion industry. This has lead to democratization of the fashion industry meaning that the fashion bloggers views are based on their own and not tainted by external factors such as being pressured by a specific advertiser or a designer . In addition, they have allowed for the participation of the average person through commenting therefore it illustrates that the normal person can have a voice and earn a place in the fashion industry.

Fashion designers are growing to witness the popularity and the strong influence of fashion bloggers in attracting large followers and they consider their inputs as extremely vital in shaping up their fashion collections as they place them in direct contact with their customers. Nowadays, fashion designers encourage fashion bloggers to be involved in their promotional strategies evidently in the recent rise of collaborations between the bloggers and designers such as in popup shows, clothing lines and styling events.

Blogger’s Fee and Integrity

Running a blog is like running a business, its hard work and time consuming. The toughest question for a fashion blogger is to determine when to charge and when to do something for free and the best way to determine this is to research what is typical and what is not standard within the blogging industry. A blogger starting out should primarily focus on establishing good relationships with other bloggers, fashion designers and advertising agencies. A good rule is that if a blogger have been asked to work on a series of assignments within a specific time frame on behalf of a brand then it is considered promotional work which should be charged. However, if the blogger is presented with information on a brand or an event  it’s not something to be charged for as its editorial work and the same goes for charity. In addition, its a common thing for brands, advertising agencies and promoters to gift bloggers with products in exchange for the blogger’s time and loyalty.

It’s integral for a blogger to treat new brands and designers with flexibility if they are just starting out and if they can accept compensation in a form of a garment  or a product then it’s appropriate. As for the established brands, bloggers should negotiate to reach a win-win situation for both parties.

The best blogs are the most honest ones, where the fashion blogger stands for what they are passionate about and can form what they like or dislike in a a brand thus makes the blog more appealing and interesting to read.

Tips for Fashion Bloggers 

  • Treat your blog as a resume if your looking to break into the professional world and its a great way to showcase your talents and skills.
  • Be clear with your goals and objectives from the beginning
  • Makes sure your collaborations are clear to to your readers whether they are sponsored or not.
  • Show your support to other bloggers and other businesses youre partnered with.
  • Treat your readers with respect and value their inputs.
  • Don’t settle for less that your worth- negotiate a suitable fee with brands, promoters and designers.

Tips for brands working with Fashion Bloggers 

  • Be clear about your intentions with bloggers – as it will be easier for a blogger to help meet a brands goals when they they know what they are and they can offer solutions to help it grow and prosper.
  • Give feedback on results to the bloggers, this keeps bloggers informed of what works for you and what objectives you want to achieve as a brand.
  • Keep records of the results when negotiating with bloggers so you don’t over spend your budget.
  • Respect and value a bloggers job as its hard and time consuming.
  • Consider compensating bloggers for their work.

 

by: Amna Al-Falasi 

Twitter : @ElManez

 


What’s in TRH’s Closet This Summer?


Who here goes on a last minute shopping spree right before the night you’re traveling? I know I do. Especially if I’m going to places like New York, or Venice, or London, or maybe Beruit too! I will always want to look fabulous no matter what, whether fabulously classy or fabulously casual.

Though I have a hard time putting an outfit together, I thought maybe I can have 5 standard looks and throw whatever is extra in the suitcase, you never know when you need a boot… or a neck scarf!

As I had made it easy for myself for the 5 standard looks, I thought maybe I can make it easy for you too! So here are 5 women’s looks and 5 men’s looks for when you’re fabulously planning your summer vacation’s outfits.

  • Women:
 
  • Men:
We hope you like our 5 standard looks and we sure hope we made it a whole lot easier on you!
Enjoy your summer vacation rabbits x

Four Collections T-shirts


The Rabbit hole team is not a stranger to four collections as we were the first to debut their collections starting from last october at The Rabbit Hole’s First event.

Today we we are proud to present their first T-shirt collection all ready for this summer’s adventures. They are definitely something simple and light to wear with this summers heat and belongs in any man or woman’s closet.

The collection offers a range of t-shirts with famous celebrities and fashion icons on them, our favorite was the Karl Lagerfeld silhouette featured below.

Website : www.fourcollectionsdubai.com

Twitter : @4collection

We leave you with images of their collection :

By : The Rabbit Hole Team