Bahraini-based designer Amal Al Mulla had a dream: to create a brand that broke the mold of traditional GCC fashion and brought a sense of newness and modernity to the region’s style set. Fast forward six years and her namesake label, which she established alongside her sister Maha, has taken the region by storm
Having attracted the attention of global e-commerce sites such as Farfetch and Moda Operandi, Amal’s latest baby, her fall/winter 2020 collection, aims to build an enduring wardrobe of everyday staple, channeling both feminine and masculine nuances to create a collection that is modern yet mindful of tradition.
MOJEH speaks to Amal to discuss her inspirations, her dreams, and what she sees for the Amal Al Mulla brand in the not-so-distant future.
When did you first become interested in fashion and how did you get involved in the industry?
Our love for fashion started at a very young age, being surrounded by both our mother and grandmother who were very articulate about the way they dressed, the jewellery they wore and how they styled themselves everyday. They were definitely a big inspiration for us.
We launched the brand Amal Al Mulla back in 2014 in Bahrain, after noticing there was a gap in the market all around the GCC. Fashion was very limited to certain kinds of styles and we wanted to create a brand that broke past certain familiarities and carved a path that gave fashion a sense of newness and modernity that we felt was missing. The rest, as they say, is history.
What were the inspirations behind your latest collection?
Our fall collection was inspired by the changes that we as a brand have felt throughout this year and the shift we felt toward a new way in living. Moving slow within challenging events and the influence it left to scale back and explore the core identity of Amal Al Mulla, taking it forward with new intentions and a new point of view.
We also wanted to shape a new way of dressing for today’s woman, reimagining the meaning of minimalism and femininity with an aim of forming an enduring wardrobe with pieces that are designed around the foundation distinguished by their character, craftsmanship and versatility.
Do you have a favorite piece from the new collection?
Yes, definitely the crème paneled shirt dress which is a main piece that defines the collection and the brand as whole. It’s tailored from a beautiful silk satin combination and designed with paneled cuts all through out the piece which gives it an artful take on everyday dressing and elevates any look which you can take from day to night.
How would you describe the Amal Al Mulla woman?
We design for the modern woman. Women who celebrate their individualities and their wholeness with a piece rather than through a piece. It’s more about the way she feels and who she is rather than an age and what she does. Our woman is confident and beautiful, strong yet humble, perfect yet imperfect in her own little ways that make her all that she is.
What are some of the challenges of setting up a fashion line in the region?
Every business comes with its own set of challenges, and the start was our hardest – introducing a new brand with a fresh new perspective back then was a risk we knew we were taking, especially at a time when the GCC fashion industry wasn’t as big as it is today, and clothing was very much clubbed or restricted to a certain kind of styles. But with the support of our family who always pushed us to pursue our dreams, and a lot of hard work and a drive to create something special and lasting, we are still here today, creating and designing and going on despite the many challenges we face everyday.
What is your personal 9-5 working wardrobe?
Our go to everyday work outfit is to definitely comfort, which usually consists of a white crisp oversized shirt and boyfriend cut jean and comfortable flats. It’s important for us to wear neutral colours as it helps our design process – we love working in a minimalist environment.
Whose style inspires you most and why?
Many women inspire us, but one who stands out and we’ve been loving a lot lately is Victoria Beckham. Her impeccable modern and refined looks are exactly what we aspire to.
What does next year hold for Amal Al Mulla?
We have plans to diversify the brand from just clothing, and are planning on diving into designing leather goods. We would also like to further expand our reach internationally, and continue to design and inspire globally.