In the United Arab Emirates, a country filled with ambitious and creative youths, it is not surprising to hear about new businesses and initiatives every day. Nevertheless, one Emirati initiative that has everybody talking is the Rabbit Hole. The Rabbit Hole was launched late 2011 by a group of young Emiratis as a platform for fashion designers and lovers. Khaleejesque sat with Sara Al Madani the PR manager of the Rabbit Hole, to learn more about the Rabbit Hole’s concept and upcoming events.
Can you briefly explain to us the concept of the Rabbit Hole?
The Rabbit Hole is an Emirati initiative that promotes domestic brands in the UAE & the GCC. It brings out upcoming designers that have the potential and the talent, sheds the spotlight on them, and works as a platform to promote their brands. A lot of young designers in this region have the talent and are up-to-date when it comes to fashion but are still not seen by the world. One of the most important things that we are looking to do is not only focus on the number of designers, but on the quality of the designs we promote; this promotion is based on a certain criteria that has been discussed by The Rabbit Hole team members.
Another aspect that we stress on is not only promote them, but also teach them the process of "branding"; how to brand their names in the market? What makes them special from others? How can they maintain their place in the fashion industry? Basically, when you walk into a mall in the UAE or the GCC one day, and you see a domestic brand, we would like to think that it all started with The Rabbit Hole.
Why did you decide to target the fashion world?
The Rabbit Hole is an annual themed event. With every year that passes, the theme changes. 2012 is all about fashion in wardrobe, which includes clothes, shoes, bags, accessories, etc. 2013 for example will be all about fashion in sports, followed by fashion in cars, fashion in food, and so on.
How did the idea of The Rabbit Hole come about?
This idea has been studied for around 2 years now by the founder Maitha AlMaktoum. It has initially started as only a fashion show; once we formed a team, everyone got the chance to pitch in their idea and in a way or another we took all feedbacks in consideration and came out with "The Rabbit Hole" as it is known now. The minute we realized we want this event to be themed, is when we were approached by certain organizations to organize their events and put "The Rabbit Hole" spin on it; that's when we decided, that fashion is required in every aspect of a persons' life not only in what people believe fashion is those days.
Your recent events have been very popular here in the UAE, can you please tell us more about them?
So far we have had two successful events. Those events are held to promote our main official launch sometime this year. The first one was held in Zayed University Dubai, which was our first appearance to the public. It combined a chain of activities such as the "Abaya competition" which was in collaboration with DAS by Hind BelJafla. In this competition there were 7 teams chosen based on a certain criteria, they were given DAS's signature Abayas and were asked to design it on spot. The winning competitor had her Abaya made for her, and it was also displayed in DAS store. The other competition was "Cinderella's Missing Shoe" where the students could design their own shoes of any kind and the judge panel would choose the most interesting design and would have the shoes made for them by a local designer shoe company called "Peaches".
The second event that was held recently, was the Zayed University Abu Dhabi edition. In this event, we also had an Abaya competition but this time in collaboration with Mauzan with the same benefits. We also had a shoe competition, but this time we decided to expand a bit.. so instead of a shoe designing competition we had Louboutin scavenger hunt; where students were given hints through both days and were supposed to find their "Loubis" based on them, and of course.. winners are keepers! Another thing that was a big hit at this event is the Fashion show that introduced 2 upcoming local designers in the fashion industry who have designed their lines and launched it at our event which are (Four Collections) & (Tassels). In addition to many more important names in the fashion industry like Sa*ce and others.
Any upcoming designers in the UAE we should keep an eye out for?
One of the local designers that has started her lines in collaboration with The Rabbit Hole is "Four Collections" by the talented Maitha Belhab. She has had her own fashion show in our event that was held in Zayed University Abu Dhabi. The rest of the designers will be revealed in the official launching ceremony of The Rabbit Hole.
What are your future expectations for the Rabbit Hole?
When the team starts talking about future expectations usually in meetings, we tend to shift from the main topic and aim high. Rabbit Hole's future will only be revealed in the future. It's a secret we'd like to hold on to for now to keep our supporters interested.
For more information on the Rabbit Hole, check out their website
– Fatma Lootah