Noha’s Urban lush is contemporary and extremely fashionable and it will make you feel strong and fierce. We totally love it. The fur details are a cool signature that identify even more this young, stylish and talented designer. “I always wanted to be a fashion designer – I know it might sound cliché, but it’s the truth. I used to draw clothes when I was a kid, and it was just clothes because I was not able to draw the human body with clothes on! Also, I was very influenced by my grandmother, who was my first fashion mentor and the one who taught me how to hand sew. I was first introduced to the art of dressmaking when I was 5 years old, visiting dressmakers and fabric stores with her. That’s when I developed a fascination with textiles. I began collecting swatches and used them to create clothes for my Barbie. Going forward, I started to redesign most of my clothes in high school because I always wanted to be different and unique. However, I was not able to study fashion design after high school because there weren’t fashion schools in Egypt back then. So, I decided to study mass communication with a concentration in advertising and public relations, and I worked in that field for several years. Then, I finally decided to pursue my dream of becoming a fashion designer when I moved to Dallas with my husband.
Today, I’m celebrating the launch of my label NOHA RAOUF. It is a high-end contemporary womenswear label with a focus on suiting, dresses, and outerwear. The label will carry both ready-to-wear and demi-couture pieces featuring the unusual cuts, extraordinary textures, and unique fabric selections that my work is best known for. NOHA RAOUF is specifically designed for the fiercely independent and the exceptionally original.”
What’s the concept of your latest collection? My main goal as a designer is to help women move freely and enhance their style without changing their character. I remember thinking of practicality when I started designing my latest collection. I wanted to design garments that can be worn for both work and casual outings. It’s very important for me to design pieces that can be worn more than once or twice. Accessories such as detachable faux fur sleeves, faux fur scarves, and belts are important elements of this collection too. The Urban Lush AW17 collection draws inspiration from the vibrant streets of London. It stimulates the idea of revolution and feminism, with textures, repetition and order as the focal points.
What kind of woman do you imagine for your creations? I always think of an independent working woman who wants to mix work with pleasure, someone who cares about style and comfort more than trends. I design for women who are seeking timeless looks and who are not afraid to spice up their wardrobes with statement pieces. Originality is very crucial to me; I do not like when all women look the same. It’s not fun!
How does the place you live in affect your design? I enjoy visiting different cities and exploring cultures and subcultures, whether I’m designing or not. When I am, I don’t think that the city I live in affects me a lot. It’s really a matter of what’s inspiring me at the moment. I take lots of pictures during my trips and I make sure to document everything I see. Living in different cities like Cairo, London, and Dallas formed my personality as a designer, and helped me stand out from the crowd.
What’s the future of fashion according to you? A lot of things are shaping the future of fashion right now; one of them is e-commerce. Customers are drifting away from retail because it’s just easier to shop online, especially with the whole “free shipping, free returns”. All it takes is to know your size in a particular brand, and then you’re all set. I can shop online all year long!
Another thing is the idea of “wearable”—people want unique designs, but not too crazy to wear. Wearable and comfortable should be the key elements of any brand, unless you are doing art. Then you do not need to worry about this.
Newness is the new face of fashion! Not just because consumers are looking for new designers all the time, but also because the fashion industry is taking a new direction now. For example, “see now, buy now” is going to be everything in the future; it’s more realistic. We do not have to wait for a whole season to buy what we are seeing now on the runway. It’s just inconvenient, and it makes the job easier for high-street fashion to knockoff the designs.
What’s your next project? I’m currently working on a new collection, which is inspired by light. I think it’s going to be very interesting to the public, especially since it will have both ready-to-wear and avant-garde pieces. I’m also collaborating with couple of photographers on some editorial shoots for publication submissions.
Instagram: @noharaouf @worldofnoha