A decade in the making

For the last 10 years Fatma Al-Otaiba dreamt of starting her own handbag brand. So, with it being the start of a new decade, she decided to take the plunge to do exactly that. Enter ODEEM, a Dubai-based luxury label which aims to focus on timeless leather goods. Combining tradition with eclecticism, the designs draw on different textures and details that are sure to turn heads.

Having presented her Spring/Summer 2020 collection in Paris last year, Fatma launched her first three handbag styles – the Nikita, the Igor and the Sascha – onto the ODEEM website in February of this year. While it’s a project that’s only just begun, the only way is up for ODEEM. We caught up with Fatma to discuss the inspiration behind her designs, what the label represents and her goals for the future in the latest ‘Go Your Own Way’ issue of Emirates Woman, which you can download it for free here.

What was the inspiration behind the brand?

I have dreamt of starting a handbag brand for the past 10 years. The idea came from wanting to wear certain styles of bags that I had in mind but couldn’t find them on the market. Dreaming up a bag that’s of exceptional quality and has a balanced amount of details and craftmanship, while being the perfect size, made me want to start ODEEM.

ODEEM handbags

When did the ODEEM vision become a reality?

Four years ago, I took on the challenge and started working with factories to finally translate my vision into a reality. I started producing some prototypes and kept improving them over the past three years until I was satisfied with the shapes, comfort, quality and design.

What does the brand represent?

ODEEM breathes new life into classic designs with an effortless use of different textures, diverse details and elegant finishes, translating into unique pieces that are cut with precision and perfect proportions.

Tell us about the process of designing a bag?

The bags display the perfect balance between traditional craftsmanship and a modern take on timeless style, with a high sense of natural elegance and comfort – almost as if tailored to the woman of character, whose style is uncompromisingly in line with her personality. The design process takes place in Dubai and the full production in South Africa. All of the materials are sourced from South Africa, Italy and Europe.

What was the inspiration for the Spring/Summer 2020 collection?

The inspiration behind my SS20 collection is strong female leads in ‘Film Noir’. They were a chic symbol of timeless elegance.

What is the overall vision for the brand?

I would like to grow my brand globally and see my bags as a part of any woman’s wardrobe around the world since they are very practical, compact and easy to wear.

To read the full interview pick up a copy of the Emirates Woman ‘Go Your Own Way’ April Issue or download it for free here.

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Images: Supplied