Growing up in the United States of America and hailing from Saudi Arabia, Sahar Madani who was surrounded with art all her life combined her knowledge and taste of the two worlds and brought in a completely new style of abaya designs. Talking to Sahar, I realised she was a lady who carved herself as a symbol of success and a role model to women all over the world being a loving mother, a generous-hearted socialite and not to mention, a talented designer.
Khansa (HA): Please tell us a bit about your background
Sahar: I am originally from Al Madinah in the Kingdom of Saudi Arabia. I had my early childhood in the United States of America, where I grew up as my father was pursuing his Ph.D. from Tucson, Arizona. I feel blessed to have a wonderful family, with amazing parents and being one of six siblings.
I am now married, and a mother of four amazing boys. Art is my passion and I love meeting and knowing people.
Khansa (HA): When did your career in the fashion industry begin? Who or what inspired you to become a professional fashion designer?
Sahar: I always had a fascination for art. With this passion, I majored in Fine Arts, and then completed a specialization in Graphic Design from the US. To begin with, fashion was not a priority career path for me. I would say this was accidental – I could not find a nice Jalabiya for Eid and then the thought of pursuing a career in fashion dawned on me. Subsequently, the doors for other fashion opportunities opened.
Khansa (HA): Interesting! How you knocked on the doors of the fashion world! Tell us a bit about your collection. What master pieces have you created so far? Which one is the dearest to you?
Sahar: I am happy to have a comprehensive collection under my belt. As of date, my collection comprises winter, summer, spring and now teen, which targets ages 5 to 15. I have a passion for elegant, classy and beautiful fabrics for my evening Abayas. All of my collections are dear to me, but there has been a huge demand for my Signature Abaya, which is a beautiful ensemble of lace and chiffon and comes in varied colours to cater to different tastes.
Khansa (HA): Your signature abayas are indeed really beautiful! Do your personal experiences/ideologies reflect in any way in your designs?
Sahar: I think this is the name of the game. Every designer has a personal touch on his or her collection and naturally the experience and taste is evident in the various designs. This is what makes every designer different from the other and unique!
Khansa (HA): ‘The name of the game’- That is an interesting description to start with. Who has been your favourite celebrity to design for?
Sahar: I am indeed grateful to the amazing patronage that I enjoy in my fashion journey. I am thankful to everyone who has supported me in this journey. To name a few, I must say that Her Highness Princess Ameera Al-Taweel , wife of His Highness Prince Al-Waleed Bin Talal, has some of my collection. Her Highness Princess Ameera Al-Taweel perfectly epitomizes what I have always wanted in life – reflecting the unique mix of class and elegance and her tastes are reflected in my designs.
Khansa (HA): Yes, I agree the Princess is more elegant than words can describe.What has been the highlight of your career to date?
Sahar: The feedback that I have received over the years from people have been very gratifying. I would rate this as a major highlight and achievement in my life. I have received huge appreciation for my designs; the direction of my pieces and elegance that is currently lacking the market.
Khansa (HA): Tell us how your experiences have defined your identity?
Sahar: Being a diplomat at a very young age and living away from my hometown and family for over 20 years in the United States, I was lucky to be an ambassador by default. When one is young, the tendency to observe, meet people, learn, discuss different experiences and views is always strong. Each of these meetings, opinions and experiences have played a part in shaping my identity.
Khansa (HA): You are also very actively involved in Woman Empowerment. What has inspired you to founding the WE Group?
Sahar: When I moved to Dubai as the wife of the Consul General, I always felt the urge to contribute my bit to the society and leave a mark for others. This was one of the inspiration behind conceptualizing the Women Empowerment Group [WE Group] here in Dubai.
- What other fields have you explored? What would your favourite pastime be?
Sahar: At this point, I am totally tied up and committed to the various tasks I have undertaken and barely see any potential for pastime. If ever I get such a privilege, I would love to read and spend some precious, relaxing time with my close friends.
Khansa (HA): Tell us how a normal day would be like for you.
Sahar: A normal day is always a juggle between my fashion business, my role as a diplomat and then my involvement with the WE Group.
Khansa (HA): How would you define your personal style?
Sahar: My personal style differs from occasion to occasion – from being classy and elegant in formal events to trendy and simple with friends. I have my unique style and I am proud of this identity. Style reflects your personality and makes you feel good about yourself.
- Tell us the top 5 wishes from your to do List
Sahar: Among my top wishes would be:
1. Wellbeing of my sons.
2. Happiness and good health for my family and friends.
3. Helping and giving back to those who share their joy with me
4. Being a successful businesswomen
5. Being Happy.
Khansa (HA): So full of simplicity yet so beautiful your wishes are ! Any messages for the audience
Sahar: Follow your heart, but also listen to what your mind says! It takes time, discipline and faith to excel….
And here my talk with Sahar comes to an end! Thank you Sahar for your time! We look forward to sharing more times with you!