Launched in July of 2012, Bahrain-based fashion label Amal Al Mulla was created by designer Amal Al-Mulla with the help of her sister Maha, who is also the brand's co-founder.
Their passion for creativity within fashion inspired them to create a women's ready-to-wear line that focuses on "bridging that gap between luxury and contemporary fashion."
The designer was born and raised in Bahrain, and recently graduated from the Royal University for women with a BA in Fashion Design. Admitting to a curiosity for art from an early age, and an admiration for her mother and grandmother's taste in fashion, Al Mulla explored the various ways in which she could incorporate the two together.
Al Mulla's designs are not complicated, even classic at times, yet still trendy. Many of Amal Al Mulla's pieces are constructed and tailored to provide a striking fit on the body.
We talked to the designer herself about her namesake label and how she creates such beautiful pieces.
Tell us about how you got into the fashion industry..
It was very hard. It’s always a challenge to start up in an industry that is never really certain. Knowing the ever changing demand and new trends in the fashion industry every season, it could get very risky but, of course, if tackled well, it could be very rewarding and satisfying.
So what's work like on a day-to-day basis?
The team behind the brand is quite small but tasks are equally divided. Orders, emails, designing, production, marketing, PR and other related works are all tackled by a heart warming dedicated team on a daily basis.
Where does your inspiration come from?
Inspiration can be collected everywhere. I get inspired by even the simplest of all things, whether it's a lyric from my favorite song, or a cold breeze on a winter's day, or the pages of my favorite magazine. It is limitless! Even an old story told by my sweet grandmother inspires me. It has to be something moving and influential.
What is the best and worst thing about working in the fashion industry?
The best thing about the industry can also be the worst in my opinion. Fashion is never consistent; it changes with every season. Trends from the 70s fast forward to the 2000s but with a different flair. It is a never ending rollercoaster that also depends on a lot of analysis and anticipation, which can be overwhelming and time consuming. But I love what I'm doing and welcome the challenge with open arms. I believe that people can excel and go a long way as long as they're doing what they love.
Who are your favorite regional and international fashion designers?
Oh, wow this is tough. International favorites include pure genius Cristobal Balenciaga. Albert Elbaz for Lanvin is beyond amazing, Marchesa for their flawless gowns and of course Mr. McQueen for his visionary work. I also love regional designer Razan Alazzouni for her impeccable beading and designs.
Favorite accessories designers?
I am currently gushing over Dannijo and can never get over House of Harlow.
Favorite shoes and handbags designers?
In terms of shoes, Christian Louboutin and Charlotte Olympia always come first. For bags, Celine is a showstopper and I run to Chanel for classics.
Favorite shopping destinations and shops?
Vintage stores are a gold mine – during a recent trip to Spain, I raided them! Bloomingdales is also one of my favorites. As for high street shops, Zara is a first stop for everything basic and trendy.
If you had the chance to collaborate with a famous fashion designer, who would it be?
Definitely a couturier, say Givenchy or Chanel – there’s nothing more important and intriguing to me than a perfect stitch. The inside of a garment is what shapes it, it has to be perfected and everything couture does exactly that, it’s magnificent to learn how to execute couture.
Which public persona or celebrity do you feel represents the essence of Amal Al Mulla?
Famous fashion blogger Kelly Framel, her taste in fashion choices purely defines the brand.
Do you have any fashion must-reads?
Yes a lot of them; I've got towers of Vogue at home, one of my sources for inspiration. I also enjoy reading Haute Muse. As for books, the Nina Garcia books are always a joy to read for some fashionable knowledge and giggles.
Do you read any fashion blogs?
Blogs are a definite, since street style is utterly important when it comes to fashion. Susie Bubble’s blog bewilders me with her honesty and content, Nicole Warne from Gary Pepper Vintage for the beautiful photography and style, and my utmost favorite Kelly Framel from the Glamouri for a daily dose of amazing taste in the arts and fashion.
Besides fashion, what are your other interests?
I very much enjoy fashion illustrating and painting, Meditation is another important hobby turned to a routine fixture. Collecting inspiring quotations is another thing I love to do on my free time.
Any advice to young aspiring fashion designers?
An advice I always give to anyone carrying out a dream of their own is to always believe in themselves. Life can push you hard and turn you backwards but being patient and believing in what you do best will lead you forward no matter what.
– Dalia Ahmad