Always inclined towards fashion and fashion designing, Khadija Al Shaibani initially dabbled in the world of airlines, working with Swiss Air and Oman Air before eventually deciding to return to her first love. “I had always wanted to do my own thing and that too related to fashion so I ended up pursuing my studies in Business in United States,” she says, following which she returned to Oman and began her fashion business, DAZIAA, in 2009.

DAZIAA was born out of the desire to create dresses that Khadija says she herself would like to wear. A byproduct of the seamless combination between Middle Eastern and Western style visions and silhouettes, DAZIAA creations nevertheless also bear the unmistakable stamp of Oman. It appears to be a characteristic that Omani fashion designers gravitate towards while developing their designs, fully aware and appreciative of trends occurring on the global fashion stage and yet always harking back to their traditional legacies. “For example, the outfits are modern, like a dress, yet inspired by the structure and drape of the Omani bisht, for example,” she says, adding that she also likes to use a lot of pashmina in her designs. It seems that the bordering of the garments with pashmina seems to be a signature DAZIAA touch.

Khadija initially started out by selling her designs in an online store, although she concedes that it was a new concept to catch on in Oman. While still continuing to maintain her website, she began to collaborate with local boutiques, supplying her creations to them. She presently retails at Mennez boutique and Bait al Zubair museum, Muscat. Additionally, her items are displayed at Evenue, Bahrain as well as at Wadha Mall, Abu Dhabi and Velvet Mega Mall, Sharjah in United Arab Emirates.

DAZIAA consists of evening and casual dresses, blouses, jelabiyas, and abayas; she brings out collections every few months, exclusively focusing on jelabiyas for Ramadan. “They are elegant dresses with a modern, timeless appeal to them,” she says of DAZIAA, saying that she does not orient her designs only around trends. “DAZIAA creations should be able to be worn five years later on.”

Having extensively travelled as a result of her airline work experience along with continually keeping herself abreast of fashion shows and magazines, visual and tradition-rich Oman is an omnipresent source of influence for her. “I love the silver jewelry, there is a unique energy attached to them,” she says, regarding some of her dresses which feature silver jewelry as embellishments.

Khadija opines that the Omani fashion scene is beginning to find a stronger fashion identity due to the new generation of Omani women seeking to find alternate ways to express themselves through their style statements. In the meantime, she is content in her design universe and hopes to open her boutique sometime in the future.

For more information on DAZIAA designs visit http://www.daziaa.com

–    Priyanka Sacheti

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