"Educated in accounting and business administration during her eight years as part of a diplomatic envoy to the United States, Maali Aloudah is no stranger to business. Back home in Al Asimah, the capital of Kuwait, Aloudah went into banking and today helps run the family business, this in addition to being a proud mother and, now, an entrepreneur in her own right.
Inspired by everything from classic movies to modern technology, Aloudah’s designs for Malimo are classic in textile but very much contemporary in design. Rich in style, Malimo prides itself on pushing the envelope – these are not your grandmother’s furs. Sourcing from the world’s best suppliers including Saga, Blackglama and Wanger and handmade in Europe, Malimo has a lux answer to any occasion."
I got the chance to catch up with her in between shows to find out more about what inspires her:
Q: Can you describe how your career as a designer first started? My fashion designing career first started out as a hobby. Becoming a fashion designer was like a dream from my childhood and so one day I actually went for it. I had the chance to start something up, so the last couple of years have been very dedicated to building my brand and design, and luckily, it seems to be doing really well.
Q: How were you introduced to fashion? I started three years ago; it was just one day as I was shopping that I instantly had an idea to design only fur. I've always wanted to be a designer but I didn't have the motivation until the last three years. The first year was naturally a struggle because fur is a difficult thing to design.
Q: Where does your inspiration come from? My inspiration is from everywhere including social media, movies, and nature's palette. Whenever I get any sort of ideas, I always try to bring them to life. For example, I have a piece I'm sketching out at the moment and I'll be headed to Lebanon next week to design it.
Q: This is your first time to participate in Mercedes Benz Fashion Week; how will you express your collection? It's going to be a combination of classic and trendy. I hope that what I'm doing stands apart from the usual. I'm so pleased I have this chance, especially because I'm the first and only Arabic fur designer in the entire Middle East.
Q: What's your design process like from idea to fruition? I live in Kuwait but I do my pieces in Italy, and places in Europe like Macedonia, so it's a bit difficult in terms of time line. That's why I design and cut the pieces in Kuwait, then I travel to put the piece together. If it works, great. If and when it doesn't then I have to do it over and over until I get it right. Especially because we don't make fur in Kuwait, as we don't have the tools or experience to do so.. That's why I travel long-distance. Thank God communication is much easier today than it was before!
Q: How would you define your personal style? My style is both practical and stylish. When I think of my style I think it's elegant and luxurious, but still practical for a business woman.
Q: What does fashion mean to you? Fashion is a lifestyle. It's important because when you see a certain outfit, it can strike a specific memory you hold dear to yourself. Fashion is something that can't be separated from personality either.
Q: What does the future of MALIMO look like? My vision is to be everywhere. I'm aiming to be in every woman's closet. I want to be in every department store all over the world. I'll try as much as I can to be affordable while producing luxury pieces.