FATEMA FARDAN’S IMPRESSIVE SUCCESS STEMS NOT ONLY FROM HER DETERMINATION AND AMBITION BUT A SINCERE ENTHUSIASM FOR FASHION AND ART. SHE CREATED A BRAND THAT EMBODIES THE MODERN WOMAN AND HAS FOUGHT BACK CRITICS FOR HER AMBITIOUS FORAY INTO THE NEW YORK FASHION SCENE.
Madhurya Manohar speaks to the fashion designer about her dreams and ideas.
Fatema Fardan is a power package with great heart. The UAE-born, London educated fashion designer is riding the waves of success but describes her ultimate dream as starting a charitable institution for impoverished women and children.
Fardan’s first brush with fabric was on a family vacation in London at the age of 9, when she was cutting up curtains in a hotel
She attributes much of her style aesthetic to the fashion capital.
“People use fashion to communicate who they are and what they believe themselves to be which I think is very powerful. Living in a place like London, a melting pot of cultures, taught me the importance of this as well as how to look at fashion in a universal manner. It taught me the importance of quality, creativity and fit,” she says.
She graduated with First Degree Honors in Fashion Design and Marketing from the American Intercontinental University, earned the Most Outstanding Student Award and a grand Fashion Show Competition at the university in 2011.
Amidst her learning experiences, she has interned in Louis Vuitton Middle East and has designed for Tata Naka and Bora Aksu in the UK. She picked up theory once again at the London College of Fashion and Central Saint Martin’s, studying Textile Design and Fashion Marketing.
She became the first Emirati to showcase her work at New York Fashion Week and her eponymous design label has taken Dubai by storm. She even dressed Desperate Housewives actress, Eva Longoria for the Dubai International Film Festival. The success, however, hasn’t gotten to her head.
“Honestly I always get surprised when I hear someone communicate to me that I am a success story because I still feel that I have so much more to do. I don’t think I am even close to what I would like to
Inspiration for the designer’s gossamer silhouettes and prints comes from new experiences and travelling. She also loves oil painting, snorkeling and reading and she tries to incorporate ideas from there as well.
“Inspiration comes from living life to the fullest. I question and explore things and I go out of my comfort zone. My perspective is to be intuitive because inspiration is everywhere; you just need to teach yourself to see it,” she says.
For a young woman, she has some mature advice for budding fashionistas. “I always tell my clients to really take time and understand themselves if they wish to have great style because confidence comes from knowing yourself and there is nothing more stylish than that,” she says.
For budding fashion designers, it’s an inspiring mantra that seems to have worked very well for her: “Keep pushing and following your dreams don’t give up. Fashion is a challenging business but it’s all worth it in the end”.