Dibaj – Modernity through a Garnish of the Past

 Dibaj, the Omani luxury brand founded by the Designer Duo Sisters Aida Al Farsi and Afaf Al Farsi have created a name for themselves in the world of Arabian Couture with their show-stopping beautiful creations. Ever since, they went up the runway on Muscat Fashion Week earlier this year, I noticed that their collections were one that modernized the Omani tradition in the most effortless and elegant manner. The jewellery design by Dibaj brings memories of Arabian folktale, hospitality and family bonding stories of the past. The designs embraces the beautiful heritage of Oman and contemporary fashion in the most remarkable manner. Haute Arabia brings you the success story of the designers by talking to them behind the scenes

Aida & Afaf Al Farsi   Khansa (HA): Please tell us a bit about yourself

 Dibaj: We have been designing since we can remember but opened our boutique in 2009 after the encouraging response from our family and friends who we designed for and dressed.

Although we have no professional training, our appreciation for fashion coupled with an admiration for heritage and eye-opening travels abroad created our signature style.

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 Khansa (HA):   When did your career in the fashion industry begin? Have there been designers in your family? Who or what inspired you to become a professional fashion designer?

 Dibaj: We have both been dressing family and friends for a few years and believe in doing something we love wholeheartedly and so opened our boutique.

 We are inspired by how heritage has great potential for a revival and, through fashion, we hope to breathe new life into cultural aspects that were disappearing with the times.

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 Khansa (HA):  Tell us about your jewellery line. What are the themes of your jewellery design?

 Dibaj: The jewellery line is a collection of iconic Omani gold and silver pieces reinterpreted into contemporary and wearable accessories with the use of fabrics, leather, beads, semi-precious stones and our signature fleur-de-lis charm.

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Khansa (HA):  How did you get inspired to move into jewellery line?

 Dibaj: Our jewellery line is in honour of our Grandmothers who would wear traditional Omani jewellery, a custom not seen any more today. We wanted to preserve this memory for future generations and have done so by adapting jewellery to the times. We take apart and deconstruct pieces of heavy set Omani jewellery and fashion them with modern elements for a more relevant and wearable look.

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Khansa (HA): No wonder your jewellery designs truly tell tales of love, tell us a bit about your collection.

Dibaj: The Dibaj woman is a modern and stylish woman who is proud of her roots and heritage. Our pieces are created to be timelessly elegant so that our designs are considered stylish today as well as tomorrow.

 Khansa (HA):   What master pieces have you created so far? Which one is the dearest to you?

Dibaj: It is hard to say which design is dearest to us as we get very attached to each piece but with this Collection, we specially designed the white lace dress in dedication to our Mother so there is an emotional connection to the piece.

We love the dresses accompanied by capes as it give the wearer a sense of mystery and intrigue, and for this Collection we complemented our caped creation with a Khanjar belt. We also enjoyed designing the yellow velvet dress with the Omani silver weaving hemline and puff sleeves, this might have been our statement dress in the Collection.

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 Khansa (HA):  I love how you have kept family love add a deeper meaning to your works, so very inspirational! What inspires your collection designs? How do new designs take form in your mind?

 Dibaj: The fabric is what starts our designs as from fabric, we can tell what the silhouette should be and begin sketching ideas. We use modern European lines, cuts and tailoring so once we have a base, we juxtapose our contemporary designs with cultural accents such as silver weaving, folklore embroidery and Khanjar belts.

 Khansa (HA): Interesting! How has your cultural history and arts inspired your designs?

 Dibaj: We are lucky to have such a diverse and rich culture in Oman. Each tribe across the country have their own signature national dress with different colours and fabrics so we take inspiration from them. The souq in Mutrrah is also our muse and we often roam its labyrinth for inspiration to encapsulate elements of the past in our modern designs.

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  Khansa (HA): You guys are so proud of your heritage! Do your personal experiences/ideologies reflect in anyway in your designs?

 Dibaj: We design what we would wear ourselves, looks that are timelessly elegant, understated, and unapologetically feminine, with details and accents that act as reminders of our culture and heritage. Like being comfortable in one’s own skin, a Dibaj woman should feel equally comfortable in our designs.

 Khansa (HA): Who has been your favourite celebrity to design for?

 Dibaj: We have not yet designed for a celebrity but would love to dress Florence Welch from Florence + the Machines. Queen Rania of Jordon and Dibaj would be a perfect match because she is the very definition of elegance.

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 Khansa (HA): What has been the highlight of your career to date?

  Dibaj:It was very exciting to have met Hilary Alexander, the Fashion Director of The Daily Telegraph, at Muscat Fashion Week and to be named one of her standout collections.

 Every time we see one of our designs on someone or we see people recognizing one of our designs is an accomplishment.

Khansa (HA):  What signature elements define the Dibaj collection?

  Dibaj:A staple Dibaj creation is stylistically relevant, free flowing and confidently feminine with accents and details inherited from the region.

Khansa (HA):  Tell us how your experiences have defined your identity?

  Dibaj:When our father was a diplomat we travelled a lot and our eyes opened to many different cultures and their beauty. By repackaging cultural reference points in a relevant and stylish manner, we can preserve history for future generations.

Khansa (HA):  When do you plan to launch the next collection? Are there any other plans for the brand that you would like to share with us?

 Dibaj: Our next Collection is already in the works with lighter and brighter fabrics and colours as Oman will be turning warmer in the next few months.

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Khansa (HA):  We are  very much looking forward to your beautiful designs, What are your plans for the near future?

Dibaj: We hope to extend our base in Oman while also introducing the brand abroad both regionally and internationally. We will always follow our design philosophy of reviving cultural elements while experimenting with the trends of the fast-paced fashion world to dress our customers in pieces that stay beautiful throughout generations.Dibaj MFW'13 (8)

Khansa (HA): Thank you for sharing your story with us! Wish you the very best!

To view more from the Dibaj collections, visit:

2 thoughts on “Dibaj – Modernity through a Garnish of the Past

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